To use flattery or smooth talk to persuade someone to do something or give you something, often in a sly or deceptive manner.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



cajole, coax, sweet-talk, butter up, flatter, inveigle, charm


dissuade, discourage, repel, deter

Example sentences

  • She tried to wheedle her way out of trouble by offering to make him a cup of coffee.
  • The salesman tried to wheedle me into buying an expensive insurance policy for my car.
  • The child wheedled her parents into buying her a new toy by promising to do her chores for a week.
  • He managed to wheedle his way onto the guest list for the exclusive party.


Wheedle is a verb that describes the act of using charm, flattery, or other persuasive tactics to get someone to do something. It can be used in a variety of contexts, from convincing a friend to lend you money to getting a child to eat their vegetables.

The word wheedle can be traced back to the Old English word hwǣdlian, which means “to influence by flattery.” The word has undergone some changes over time, but the basic meaning has remained the same.

There are several variations of the word wheedle, including wheedler (noun) and wheedlingly (adverb). In addition, there are related words that share a similar meaning, such as cajole, coax, and charm.

Wheedling can be an effective way to get what you want, but it can also be seen as manipulative or deceitful. It is important to use wheedling sparingly and only in situations where it is appropriate. Overusing wheedling can lead to a loss of trust and respect from others