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I would like some help with a word which means convince but which indicates that it takes quite a lot of gentle effort to achieve the desired result.

My name is Gopal and I love Aarthi. She loves Raghav.

Ever since Raghav lost his job, Aarthi hadn't met me too often as she wanted to be with him. Finally, on her weekly holiday I ____ her to meet up

Which of the following words fits best for the above blank with that meaning? Here are the dictionary definitions for the words that I have found.

Cajole = persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing or flattery.
Persuade = cause (someone) to believe something, esp. after a sustained effort; convince.
Coax = persuade (someone) gradually or by flattery to do something.
Wheedle = employ endearments or flattery to persuade someone to do something or give one something.
Palaver = prolonged and idle discussion.
Blarney = talk that aims to charm, pleasantly flatter, or persuade.
Sweet-talk = insincerely praise (someone) in order to persuade them to do something.
Inveigle =persuade (someone) to do something by means of deception or flattery.

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closed as not constructive by Roaring Fish, Andrew Leach, Robusto, MετάEd, Monica Cellio Dec 23 '12 at 0:31

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Many of those will work: cajoled, persuaded, coaxed, sweet-talked, even begged. But there is not enough information in the question about what you want to imply. Note too that palaver and blarney are nouns, not verbs. – Andrew Leach Dec 22 '12 at 13:48
@RoaringFish I think "Please find" means "Please find below," not "please find for me". – Andrew Leach Dec 22 '12 at 13:49
I tried to edit for clarity, but I actually don't understand what you mean by the phrase with the blank. Why would someone not meet with another when they wanted to already? Why does she need convincing if it was already her desire? – Grumpy Dec 22 '12 at 13:56
'wheedle' doesn't take an indirect object. You just wheedle someone, with no indirect object. And you 'sweet-talk someone in' to doing something. – Mitch Dec 22 '12 at 13:59
@Peter: sorry for confusion. Here the author is Gopal and not Raghav. Raghave is boy friend of Aarthi and Gopal is best friend of Aarthi. – Hanu Dec 22 '12 at 14:05

These "what word?" questions are impossible to answer and don't serve much purpose, butis:

"I cajoled her to meet up" works but implies that she didn't really want to - you had to work at it like a high-pressure salesman.

"I persuaded her to meet up" works quite well. No real problems apart from the lingering question of why she needed persuading instead of just saying "yes".

"I coaxed her to meet up" suggests that you had to be very persistent, or wore her down.

"Wheedle" is a bit too archaic to work, though you could get away with "I wheedled a date out of her", but it has overtones of insincerity or trickery.

"Palaver" and "blarney" are nearly always used as a noun. I have never heard either used as a verb.

"I sweet-talked her to meet up" doesn't work at all, but "I sweet-talked her into meeting up" works well.

""I inveigled her to meet up" doesn't work, but ""I inveigled her into meeting up" would - if you want to admit that you used deception and deceit to get a date.

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I'd use persuade, inveigle, maneuver, or manipulate. Instead of Finally, on her weekly holiday I persuaded her to meet up, I'd say it as After a week's worth of meticulous machinations, I finally managed to maneuver her into meeting me for a cup of mocha java. (I like alliteration and I say this slightly tongue-in-cheek).

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In the context you’ve written I would suggest encourage might be appropriate.

From the OED -

encourage, v.

  1. trans. To inspire with courage, animate, inspirit.

    a. To inspire with courage sufficient for any undertaking; to embolden, make confident.

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While you could use encourage, it doesn't fit quite right to my ear, given the context. – Kristina Lopez Dec 22 '12 at 14:44
sorry, maybe my choice of word wasn't the best, either. :-) "Encourage" is perfectly grammatical but for the context, it seems a little too positive. I think if I were Aarti, something other than encouragement would be needed to get me to meet with Gopal. I know what you mean about this site - but that's what I love about it. It's good for my brain consider other perspectives. – Kristina Lopez Dec 22 '12 at 15:59

Finally, I prevailed upon her to meet up.

prevail upon - to convince; to persuade.

Given other meanings of prevail (endure, succeed) I think you can normally assume prevailing upon someone [to do something] usually implies it took quite a long time. And in my experience it's usually about gently but insistently presenting arguments (or requests), rather than anything particularly forceful.

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