winkle out

winkle out
1) PHRASAL VERB If you winkle information out of someone, you get it from them when they do not want to give it to you, often by tricking them. [BRIT, INFORMAL]

[V P n (not pron)] The security services will pretty well go to any lengths to winkle out information...

[V n P of n] The detective was trying to winkle information out of her. [Also V n P]

worm out
2) PHRASAL VERB If you winkle someone out of a place where they are hiding or which they do not want to leave, you make them leave it. [BRIT, INFORMAL]

[V n P of n] He somehow managed to winkle Picard out of his room...

[V n P] Political pressure finally winkled him out and on to a plane bound for Berlin...

[V P n (not pron)] It will not be easy to winkle out the old guard and train younger replacements.


English dictionary. 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • winkle out — verb 1. force from a place or position The committee winkled out the unqualified candidates • Hypernyms: ↑remove • Verb Frames: Somebody s somebody Something s somebody 2. remove or displace from a position …   Useful english dictionary

  • winkle out — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms winkle out : present tense I/you/we/they winkle out he/she/it winkles out present participle winkling out past tense winkled out past participle winkled out British informal 1) to get something such as… …   English dictionary

  • winkle out — verb to acquire something or someone with difficulty …   Wiktionary

  • winkle — ► NOUN ▪ a small edible shore dwelling mollusc with a spiral shell. ► VERB (winkle out) chiefly Brit. ▪ extract or obtain with difficulty. ORIGIN shortening of PERIWINKLE(Cf. ↑periwinkle) …   English terms dictionary

  • winkle — win|kle1 [ˈwıŋkəl] n BrE [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: PERIWINKLE 2] a small sea animal that lives in a shell and is eaten as food winkle 2 winkle2 v winkle out [winkle sb/sth<=>out] phr v 1.) to make someone leave a place ▪ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • winkle — I. noun Etymology: by shortening Date: 1585 periwinkle II II. intransitive verb (winkled; winkling) Etymology: frequentative of wink Date: 1791 twinkle III. tra …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • winkle — I UK [ˈwɪŋk(ə)l] / US noun [countable] Word forms winkle : singular winkle plural winkles 1) a type of small shellfish that can be eaten as food 2) British informal a penis. This word is used especially by children. II UK [ˈwɪŋk(ə)l] / US verb… …   English dictionary

  • winkle — /ˈwɪŋkəl / (say wingkuhl) noun 1. any of various marine gastropods; a periwinkle. –phrase (winkled, winkling) 2. winkle out, to prise out or extract, as a winkle from its shell with a pin. {shortened form of periwinkle1} …   Australian English dictionary

  • winkle — win|kle1 [ wıŋkl ] noun count type of small SHELLFISH that can be eaten as food winkle win|kle 2 [ wıŋkl ] verb ,winkle out phrasal verb transitive BRITISH INFORMAL 1. ) to get something such as information from someone when they did not intend… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • winkle — [[t]wɪ̱ŋk(ə)l[/t]] winkles, winkling, winkled N COUNT Winkles are small sea snails that can be eaten. [BRIT] Phrasal Verbs: winkle out Syn: periwinkle (in AM, use periwinkles) …   English dictionary

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