tease out

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
What they (the terrorists) wanted, what would have been best, would be to tease out the release of the extras, to keep them all for another week and then let them dribble out, a few here and there in exchange for demands that were met.

Source: Bel Canto

Background: The terrorists, who believed there were too many hostages to keep, were checking every hostage's backgrounds and making their lists of those to keep and those to release.

How to understand "tease out" here? Is "find something out by searching through a mass of information." a suitable definition? Thanks
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    To "tease out" here means something like "to coax", Red Giant. The terrorists wanted the others to concede certain demands in exchange for hostages. The others would be coaxing the terrorists to release hostages by agreeing to some of their demands. "Tease out" or "coax" imply that the terrorists wouldn't release all the hostages at once. Instead, they would trade a few hostages for a few demands, slowly releasing the hostages as more demands were met.
    < Previous | Next >