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

  • transitive v. To persuade or attempt to persuade by flattery or guile; cajole.
  • transitive v. To obtain through the use of flattery or guile: a swindler who wheedled my life savings out of me.
  • intransitive v. To use flattery or cajolery to achieve one's ends.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cajole or attempt to persuade by flattery.
  • v. To obtain something by guile or trickery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To flatter; to coax; to cajole.
  • transitive v. To entice by soft words; to cajole; to flatter; to coax.
  • transitive v. To grain, or get away, by flattery.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To entice, especially by soft words; gain over by coaxing and flattery; cajole; coax; flatter; hence, to hoax; take in.
  • To gain or procure by flattery or coaxing.
  • To flatter; coax.
  • n. One who wheedles; a cajoling or coaxing person.
  • n. A piece of cajolery; a flattering or coaxing speech; a hoax.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering


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

Origin unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin uncertain. Possibly from Old English waedlian ("to beg").


  • Ms. LENHART: We heard from teens who said, you know, when I want the yes, I'll go to the phone because my parents can hear my voice and I can kind of wheedle and I can charm them, and that's how I'm going to get what I want.

    Teen Texting Soars; Will Social Skills Suffer?

  • She will connive and she will lie and she will wheedle her way in as far as she can wheedle, further than you can imagine, until — — oh, I don't know — — she has the password to your SL account.

    "We think we've climbed so high, Up all the backs we've condemned..."

  • He, who was sheer bladed steel in the imperious flashing of his will, could swashbuckle and bully like any over-seas roisterer, or wheedle as wickedly winningly as the first woman out of Eden or the last woman of that descent.


  • In puzzle mode that initially just means activating them slowly enough not to cause collisions, but later levels demand deeper experimentation with order and timing before you wheedle out a viable solution.

    This week's new games

  • A quick phone call to Robert ensured she would be well guarded, and Brystion managed to wheedle our way out of too many questions.

    Brush of Darkness

  • He hopes to wheedle enough support from the national and prefecture governments to show progress rebuilding before leading citizens move away.

    Fateful Choice on a Day of Disaster

  • If not, how did Action Canada wheedle their way in to this otherwise good group of charities?

    ProWomanProLife » Questions about World Vision’s vision

  • Their favorite words are words that can said with a sneer, but they enjoy words that bark, growl, whine, wheedle, and spit with rage too.

    No empathy for empathy

  • In both cases, what is going on is a display of pinstriped muscle – an attempt to wheedle, lobby and finally intimidate government from making whatever decisions it feels are necessary in the national rather than sectional interest.

    North Sea oil: Trading blows with Mr Osborne | Editorial

  • Religious Hucksters do more than wheedle money out of their flock.

    Diane Dimond: False Prophets and Their Profits


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

  • Citation on poising.

    July 23, 2009

  • There's a Wheedle

    On the Needle

    I know just what

    You're thinking

    But if you look up

    Late at night

    You'll se

    His red nose blinking.

    - Steven Cosgrove, 'Wheedle on the Needle'.

    January 21, 2009

  • There began a creaky, squeaky, whinny-whining of the wheels as the wagon wheedled along.

    - William Steig, Farmer Palmer's Wagon Ride

    September 29, 2008

  • "There's no surer way to make me want to understand than to tell me I won't. I wheedled him, demanding that he tell me." Little Brother - Cory Doctorow

    July 3, 2008