winkle out

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

winkle out

  1. (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!”
  2. (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 []