wheedle

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Origin uncertain. Perhaps continuing Middle English wedlen (to beg, ask for alms), from Old English wǣdlian (to be poor, be needy, be in want, beg), from Proto-Germanic *wēþlōną (to be in need).

More likely, borrowed from German wedeln (to wag one's tail), from Middle High German wedelen, a byform of Middle High German wadelen (to wander, waver, wave, whip, stroke, flutter), from Old High German wādalōn (to wander, roam, rove). In this case, it may be a doublet of waddle, or an independently formed etymological equivalent.

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈʍiː.dəl/ (without the wine-whine merger)
  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈwiː.dəl/ (with the wine-whine merger)
  • (file)

VerbEdit

wheedle (third-person singular simple present wheedles, present participle wheedling, simple past and past participle wheedled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To cajole or attempt to persuade by flattery.
    I’d like one of those, too, if you can wheedle him into telling you where he got it.
  2. (transitive) To obtain by flattery, guile, or trickery.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

wheedle (plural wheedles)

  1. (archaic) A coaxing person.

AnagramsEdit