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illustration Winkle



Part of speech: verb

Origin: British, late 16th century


Extract or obtain something with difficulty.

Examples of Winkle in a sentence

"The interrogator was used to winkling confessions out of the most hard-boiled subjects."

"I had to winkle the button out of the too-tight buttonhole on my new shirt."

About Winkle

This word originated from a shortening of the word “periwinkle” — a mollusk with a spiral shell usually found along shores and beaches.

Did you Know?

The verb form of "winkle" means to "extract something with great difficulty," but there's a noun form of "winkle" as well. Seafood lovers might recognize a winkle as a tiny mollusk with a spiral shell. These edible mollusks are usually around the size of a pinkie nail.

illustration Winkle

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