finagle

or fe·na·gle

[ fi-ney-guh l ]
/ fɪˈneɪ gəl /

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.

Nearby words

  1. fin whale,
  2. fin-footed,
  3. fin.,
  4. fin. sec.,
  5. finable,
  6. final,
  7. final cause,
  8. final cut,
  9. final four,
  10. final host

Origin of finagle

1925–30, Americanism; finaig- (variant of fainaigue) + -le

Related formsfi·na·gler, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for finagler

finagle

/ (fɪˈneɪɡəl) /

verb informal

(tr) to get or achieve by trickery, craftiness, or persuasion; wangle
to use trickery or craftiness on (a person)
Derived Formsfinagler, noun

Word Origin for finagle

C20: probably changed from dialect fainaigue

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for finagler

finagle

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