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

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 Bouchard’s script, co-written with Jim Dauterive and Nora Smith, isn’t going to bend the characters’ reality and finagle an excuse to send them to Paris, or even Wally World. Amy Nicholson, Variety, 23 May 2022 The buttons also tend to be larger and easier to finagle with gloves on. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 6 May 2022 The critic, who had managed to finagle his way into the Oliviers’ lives despite his harsh critiques, later recalled lying in a guest bed at Notley, the couple’s country home, trying to take a nap, when Vivien entered his room. Stephen Galloway, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Mar. 2022 Sherman hopes to finagle a new, downtown stadium himself, even if locals are perfectly satisfied with Kauffman Stadium. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 8 Mar. 2022 Is Mara trying to finagle her own after-hours one-on-one date? Kristen Baldwin,, 15 Feb. 2022 And only people with private insurance will qualify for reimbursements, which are not always easy to finagle. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 23 Dec. 2021 Shooting in Manhattan can be notoriously difficult, but Malin was able to finagle permission to shoot at must-see locations like Rockefeller Center and The Plaza Hotel in addition to Bergdorf's and Central Park. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, 6 Oct. 2021 As professional designers, firms can typically finagle a 15% (or even more) discount on furniture and accessories. Kathryn O'shea-evans, House Beautiful, 23 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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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Cite this Entry

“Finagle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on finagle

Nglish: Translation of finagle for Spanish Speakers


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