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-

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."

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

Examples of inveigle in a Sentence

She inveigled him to write the letter. We inveigled the information from him.
Recent Examples on the Web On hand for the séance is a thoroughly skeptical Poirot, inveigled to attend by a mystery-novelist friend, Ariadne Oliver. Mark Feeney,, 11 Sep. 2023 Norman Mailer tried to inveigle his dinner guests into an orgy, and not long after wrote a cruel letter to Styron, breaking off their friendship. Marion Winik, Washington Post, 15 June 2023 At a ball where Byron was surrounded by a flock of ladies, Lamb inveigled the hostess to introduce her, and, having looked earnestly, wordlessly, into the poet’s face, Lamb immediately turned on her heel. Clare McHugh, Washington Post, 28 May 2023 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inveigle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​vei·​gle in-ˈvā-gəl How to pronounce inveigle (audio)
inveigled; inveigling -g(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce inveigle (audio)
: to win over by flattery : entice
was inveigled into helping out
: to acquire by cleverness or flattery : wangle
inveigled a new bike from my father

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 imprisonmentU.S. Code

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