fi·​na·​gle | \ fə-ˈnā-gəl How to pronounce finagle (audio) \
finagled; finagling\ fə-​ˈnā-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce finagling (audio) \

Definition of finagle

transitive verb

1 : to obtain by indirect or involved means finagle a ride home
2 : to obtain by trickery finagled his way into the concert

intransitive verb

: to use devious or dishonest methods to achieve one's ends A con man finagled my neighbor out of $400.

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Other Words from finagle

finagler \ fə-​ˈnā-​g(ə-​)lər How to pronounce finagler (audio) \ noun

Examples of finagle in a Sentence

A con man finagled my neighbor out of four hundred dollars. let me look at my schedule and see if I can't finagle a visit to the museum

Recent Examples on the Web

Last year’s Hunt involved tasks like finding and riding a water buffalo in Hanoi and finagling a dinner invitation from a family in Egypt. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "Why Even Control Freaks Are Opting for ‘Surprise Vacations’," 14 Nov. 2018 There is a truck, finagled by mysterious commander Joseph Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) and others, that will take June, baby Holly/Nicole, and Emily (Alexis Bledel) to the Great White North. Nicole Pomarico,, "What Is June's Daughter Being Trained For On The Handmaid's Tale?," 8 June 2019 Except all evidence suggests that the richest taxpayers are the most diligent about mobilizing lobbyists and politicians to finagle the tax code on their behalf. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "High Tax Rates Aren’t Optimal," 8 Jan. 2019 At 16, Schneider was an aspiring actor and decided to skip school to try to finagle his way onto the set of the hit movie. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "John Schneider remembers Burt Reynolds: 'I'll miss my friend' but I know 'he was in pain'," 7 Sep. 2018 But his smile quickly fades as the focus shifts to Nick, who is clearly surprised (and maybe a little disappointed or annoyed?) that his brother has finagled his way to Vietnam when Jack knew Nicky didn’t want to be there. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Season 3 Episode 4 Finally Introduces Jack's Brother Nicky," 17 Oct. 2018 The 2016 World Series The great chance came in 2016 when Terry reinvented relief pitching and cajoled, finagled, and coaxed the battered Indians to the World Series. Bill Livingston,, "Cleveland Indians' two 'Tito's' and their lives in baseball -- Bill Livingston," 16 Feb. 2018 In theory, however, there’s more to lose on this earthly plane, provided the show can find a way to finagle it. Karen Han, Vox, "The Good Place episode 5 recap: “Jeremy Bearimy” gets season 3 back on track," 19 Oct. 2018 Opt instead for a guide with InterGeorgia Travel ($150 daily flat rate), a family-run tour company whose professional, English-speaking drivers can finagle access to private wineries and local supras, invitation-only Georgian feasts. Benjamin Kemper, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Guide to Georgian Wine Country," 5 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finagle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of finagle

circa 1924, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for finagle

perhaps alteration of fainaigue to renege

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Dictionary Entries near finagle






final cadence

final cause

Statistics for finagle

Last Updated

1 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for finagle

The first known use of finagle was circa 1924

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More Definitions for finagle



English Language Learners Definition of finagle

: to get (something) in a clever or dishonest way
: to trick (someone) in order to get something

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More from Merriam-Webster on finagle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for finagle

Spanish Central: Translation of finagle

Nglish: Translation of finagle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on finagle

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food or victuals

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