verb (used with or without object), fe·na·gled, fe·na·gling. finagle. finagle or fe·na·gle [fi- ney-g uh l] verb (used with object), fi·na·gled, fi·na·gling. to trick, swindle, or cheat (a person) (often followed by out of): He finagled the backers out of a fortune. to get or achieve (something) by guile, trickery, or manipulation: to finagle an assignment to the Membership Committee. verb (used without object), fi·na·gled, fi·na·gling. to practice deception or fraud; scheme. Origin of finagle 1925–30, Americanism
-le Related forms fi·na·gler, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for fenagling (tr) to get or achieve by trickery, craftiness, or persuasion; wangle to use trickery or craftiness on (a person) Derived Forms finagler, noun Word Origin for finagle
C20: probably changed from dialect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for fenagling v.
1926, American English, possibly a variant of English dialectal
fainaigue "to cheat or renege" (at cards), of unknown origin. Liberman says finagle is from figgle, phonetic variant of fiddle "fidget about," frequentative of fig. Related: Finagled; finagling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper