in·​vei·​gle in-ˈvā-gəl How to pronounce inveigle (audio)
 sometimes  -ˈvē-
inveigled; inveigling in-ˈvā-g(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce inveigle (audio)
 sometimes  -ˈvē-

transitive verb

: to win over by wiles : entice
: to acquire by ingenuity or flattery : wangle
inveigled her way into a promotion
in-ˈvā-gəl-mənt How to pronounce inveigle (audio)
 sometimes  -ˈvē-
in-ˈvā-g(ə-)lər How to pronounce inveigle (audio)
 sometimes  -ˈvē-

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Did you know?

Inveigle, a word that dates from the 16th century, refers to the act of using clever talk, trickery, or flattery either to persuade somebody to do something or to obtain something, but etymologically the word is linked to eyesight—or the lack thereof. Inveigle came to English from the Anglo-French verb enveegler, meaning "to blind or hoodwink someone," from the adjective enveugle, meaning "blind." Enveugle derives from the Medieval Latin ab oculis, a phrase which literally translates to "lacking eyes."

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Choose the Right Synonym for inveigle

lure, entice, inveigle, decoy, tempt, seduce mean to lead astray from one's true course.

lure implies a drawing into danger, evil, or difficulty through attracting and deceiving.

lured naive investors with get-rich-quick schemes

entice suggests drawing by artful or adroit means.

advertising designed to entice new customers

inveigle implies enticing by cajoling or flattering.

fund-raisers inveigling wealthy alumni

decoy implies a luring into entrapment by artifice.

attempting to decoy the enemy into an ambush

tempt implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of conscience or better judgment.

tempted by the offer of money

seduce implies a leading astray by persuasion or false promises.

seduced by assurances of assistance

Example Sentences

She inveigled him to write the letter. We inveigled the information from him.
Recent Examples on the Web Another threat that is likely to inveigle itself into the Web3 domain is phishing. Andrew Newman, Forbes, 4 May 2022 All of those thinly veiled efforts to inveigle an answer are met with a stock response. New York Times, 26 Nov. 2021 To reach Peru, Dr. Koepcke had to first get to a port and inveigle his way onto a trans-Atlantic freighter. New York Times, 18 June 2021 The two cell-surface proteins that SARS-CoV-2 uses to make contact with its target cells and inveigle its way into them would fit into this category. The Economist, 20 Aug. 2020 And, finally, he is lost at the very end of the world when he is sent on to Edinburgh, to inveigle his way into the affections of the Scottish King James VI, poised to become the English King James I upon Elizabeth’s death. Dominic Dromgoole, New York Times, 11 Feb. 2020 Great America Alliance used the same bite in 2017 to inveigle black voters away from Democrats, targeting Georgia’s 6th Congressional District’s special election, according to the Washington Post. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, 27 Feb. 2020 None of Trump’s inveigling against the Justice Department, however, would be possible without the complicity of Attorney General Bill Barr and other political appointees. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 11 Feb. 2020 Hunter’s Timon tends more toward rough playfulness, interacting with the audience in the front rows with some edgy but not too disquieting banter, and getting laughs by inveigling the unctuous Painter into eating worms. Geoffrey O’brien, The New York Review of Books, 29 Jan. 2020 See More

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

Word History


Anglo-French enveegler, aveogler, avogler to blind, hoodwink, from avogle, enveugle blind, from Medieval Latin ab oculis, literally, lacking eyes

First Known Use

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inveigle was in 1539


Dictionary Entries Near inveigle

Cite this Entry

“Inveigle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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Legal Definition


transitive verb

in·​vei·​gle in-ˈvā-gəl, -ˈvē- How to pronounce inveigle (audio)
inveigled; inveigling
: to lure by false representations or other deceit
whoever unlawfully…inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away and holds for ransom or reward or otherwise any person…shall be punished by imprisonment U.S. Code

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