1. phrasal verb If you winkle information out of someone, you get it from them when they do not want to give it to you, often by tricking them. [British, informal] [V P n] ⇒ The security services will pretty well go to any lengths to winkle out information. [V n P + of] ⇒ The detective was trying to winkle information out of her. [Also V n P] 2. phrasal verb → winkle If you winkle someone out of a place where they are hiding or which they do not want to leave, you make them leave it. [British, informal] [V n P + of] ⇒ He somehow managed to winkle Picard out of his room. [V n P] ⇒ Political pressure finally winkled him out and on to a plane bound for Berlin. [V P n] ⇒ It will not be easy to winkle out the old guard and train younger replacements.
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