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

Definition of finagle

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to use devious or dishonest methods to achieve one's ends I have long craved a convention where someone had to wheel and deal, … maneuver and finagle, to win the crown.— Mark Plotkin

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Other Words from finagle

finagler \ fə-​ˈnā-​g(ə-​)lər How to pronounce finagle (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 By the time Burke could finagle special permission for a phone conversation, her son had spent nearly a week contemplating metastatic cancer alone. STAT, "States with springtime Covid-19 surges appear to have turned a corner," 14 Apr. 2021 Ramona shows Destiny how to finagle her way around the Wall Street clientele who frequent their strip club. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week ‘Pulp Fiction’ on BBC America and IFC," 9 Apr. 2021 The operation so far has netted about 30 carp over the first few days of the operation, enough to establish that the fish have been able to finagle their way this far north, putting other fish and organisms in danger. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Electric currents, underwater speakers scare up invasive Asian carp in Mississippi River near La Crosse," 9 Apr. 2021 Ramona shows Destiny how to finagle her way around the Wall Street clientele who frequent their strip club. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: James Dean in ‘Giant’ on TCM and more," 2 Apr. 2021 As professional designers, firms can typically finagle a 15% (or even more) discount on furniture and accessories. Kathryn O'shea-evans, House Beautiful, "How Much Does It Cost to Hire a (Good) Interior Designer?," 18 Mar. 2021 That also would require the Spartans to finagle another open scholarship spot. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Why Michigan State basketball's transfer potential isn't as simple as it seems," 18 Mar. 2021 That DeRozan has not been able to finagle his way onto an All-Star team, after earning such recognition in four of his final five seasons in Toronto. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "DeMar DeRozan's year of tragedy has included his best basketball," 14 Mar. 2021 Ramona shows Destiny how to finagle her way around the Wall Street clientele who frequent their strip club. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Lust for Life’; ‘Platoon’ and more," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for finagle

Time Traveler

The first known use of finagle was circa 1924

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Statistics for finagle

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Finagle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for finagle

Nglish: Translation of finagle for Spanish Speakers

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