winkle out

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

to winkle out

  1. (UK) to acquire something or someone with difficulty
    • Tom managed to winkle the truth out of John eventually.
    • 2005 : He watched her blink rapidly and choose a difference sort of release: “I mean, since you’re so good at winkling people out!” - Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty, (Bloomsbury Publishing, paperback edition, 406)
  2. to get something or someone out of 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 [..]