An example of to wheedle is for a person to get money from a boyfriend by telling him how handsome and loving he is.
- to influence or persuade (a person) by flattery, soothing words, coaxing, etc.
- to get (something) by coaxing or flattery
Origin of wheedle17th-c. cant ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps German wedeln, to wag the tail, fan, hence to flatter ; from wedel, a fan, tail
verbwhee·dled, whee·dling, whee·dles
- To obtain through the use of flattery or guile: a swindler who wheedled my life savings out of me.
- To persuade or attempt to persuade by flattery or guile; cajole: “They could marry on the fortune Miss Starling had wheedled her employer into leaving her” (W. Somerset Maugham).
Origin of wheedleOrigin unknown.
(third-person singular simple present wheedles, present participle wheedling, simple past and past participle wheedled) and (intransitive)
Origin uncertain. Possibly from Old English waedlian (“to beg"). Another possible source is German wedeln, to wag, from Old High German wedil, wadil, tail.