verb (used with or without object), fe·na·gled, fe·na·gling.

  1. finagle.

verb (used with object), fi·na·gled, fi·na·gling.

  1. to trick, swindle, or cheat (a person) (often followed by out of): He finagled the backers out of a fortune.
  2. to get or achieve (something) by guile, trickery, or manipulation: to finagle an assignment to the Membership Committee.

verb (used without object), fi·na·gled, fi·na·gling.

  1. to practice deception or fraud; scheme.

verb informal

  1. (tr) to get or achieve by trickery, craftiness, or persuasion; wangle
  2. to use trickery or craftiness on (a person)

1926, American English, possibly a variant of English dialectal fainaigue “to cheat or renege” (at cards), of unknown origin. Liberman says finagle is from figgle, phonetic variant of fiddle “fidget about,” frequentative of fig. Related: Finagled; finagling.

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