from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To draw (metal) into wire.
  • transitive v. To treat (a subject, for example) with great length, excessive detail, or overrefinement; spin out.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To stretch (some physical thing) out, as though drawing wire; to elongate.
  • v. To stretch (words, a meaning etc.) to suit one's own purpose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To form (a piece of metal) into wire, by drawing it through a hole in a plate of steel.
  • transitive v. Hence, to draw by art or violence.
  • transitive v. Hence, also, to draw or spin out to great length and tenuity.
  • transitive v. To pass, or to draw off, (as steam) through narrow ports, or the like, thus reducing its pressure or force by friction.

from The 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.


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.

    The Whole Works of the Rev. John Howe, M.A. with a Memoir of the Author. Vol. VI.

  • 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.

    Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

  • 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.

    Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions. Vol. VII.

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.