- (transitive, Britain) To acquire something or someone with difficulty.
- Tom managed to winkle the truth out of John eventually.
- 2005, Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty (Bloomsbury Publishing, paperback edition, 406)
- He watched her blink rapidly and choose a difference sort of release: “I mean, since you’re so good at winkling people out!”
- (transitive) To get (something or someone) out of an entrenched position.
- 2011, Ken Ford, Operation Archery: The Commandos and the Vaagso Raid 1941, page 59
- […] was mopping up the remnants of German resistance and trying to winkle out individual enemy soldiers from their hiding places.
- 2012, Raphael Samuel, Theatres of Memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture, page 67
- […] using cloak-and-dagger methods to winkle out unwanted tenants and assemble vacant sites […]