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 Reservations aren’t offered, but spots at the bar are plentiful, and the summer outdoor area makes tables easy to finagle. Alexandra Hall,, "Portland restaurants you can actually get into," 15 July 2019 Receiver Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi, who had to finagle his way into a look from the Browns? Mary Kay Cabot,, "Which Browns rookies will be among the training camp surprises? (video)," 8 July 2019 Rather than devoting all of their energies to finagling the algorithm, many creators rely on each other. Shaan Amin, The New Republic, "Can the Left Win YouTube?," 2 July 2019 The first is for outside groups to put a repeal of TABOR on the ballot and to honestly explain all of the clever ways the state has finagled to not comply with TABOR so voters can see how truly unworkable the amendment is in its purest state. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Want to repeal TABOR? We do too, but here’s some realistic advice.," 20 June 2019 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

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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Statistics for finagle

Time Traveler for finagle

The first known use of finagle was circa 1924

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More Definitions for finagle


How to pronounce finagle (audio)

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

What made you want to look up finagle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something of little or no value

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