Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 12, 2019 is:
wheedle • WEE-dul • verb
1 : to influence or entice by soft words or flattery
2 : to gain or get by coaxing or flattering
3 : to use soft words or flattery
Suzie and Timmy wheedled the babysitter into letting them stay up an hour past their bedtime.
“As we were saying, if you’ve noticed an increase recently in robocalls—those automated calls to your cellphone or landline with come-ons to lower your credit card debt or ploys to wheedle your Social Security number and other information from you—you’re hardly alone.” — editorial, The Daily Herald (Everett, Washington), 2 July 2019
Did you know?
Wheedle has been a part of the English lexicon since the mid-17th century, though no one is quite sure how the word made its way into English. (It has been suggested that the term may have derived from an Old English word that meant “to beg,” but this is far from certain.) Once established in the language, however, wheedle became a favorite of some of the language’s most illustrious writers. Wheedle and its related forms appear in the writings of Wordsworth, Dickens, Kipling, Dryden, Swift, Scott, Tennyson, and Pope, among others.