American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To draw (metal) into wire.
- v. To treat (a subject, for example) with great length, excessive detail, or overrefinement; spin out.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To draw (metal) out into wire; especially, to form into wire, as a metal, by forcibly prilling through a series of holes gradually decreasing in diameter.
- To draw out to greater length; extend in quantity or time; stretch, especially to excess; prolong; protract.
- To draw out into excessive tenuity or subtlety, as a thought, argument, or discourse; spin out, especially by useless refinements, hair-splitting, or the like; render prolix at the expense of force and clearness.
- To stretch or strain unwarrantably; wrest; pervert; distort.
- To beguile; cheat.
- In the steam-engine, to draw off (steam) by one or more small apertures, materially reducing its pressure after the passage.
- To follow the profession, practice, or methods of a wiredrawer; especially, to use unwarrantable methods; pervert; cheat.
- v. To stretch (some physical thing) out, as though drawing wire; to elongate.
- v. obsolete To stretch (words, a meaning etc.) to suit one's own purpose.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To form (a piece of metal) into wire, by drawing it through a hole in a plate of steel.
- v. Hence, to draw by art or violence.
- v. Hence, also, to draw or spin out to great length and tenuity.
- v. (Steam Engine) To pass, or to draw off, (as steam) through narrow ports, or the like, thus reducing its pressure or force by friction.
- From wire + draw. (Wiktionary)
“So in like manner we are faulty when we torture the words of another, and wiredraw them, that we may if possible make them speak a bad sense, when it may be a much better might be put upon them.”
“It would please me much if you could wiredraw some of Gutts's * actuators into a proper provocation for my doing what I have propos d.”
“I do not profess myself either delighted or skilled in mystical interpretations, and to wiredraw the sense of the place, so as to make it speak the death of the king; as some who can interpret scripture, as if the whole book of God was only to tell things transacted in England and Scotland; so that there cannot be so much as an house fired, or a leg broken, but they can find it in Daniel or the Revelations.”
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