American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To obtain or achieve by indirect, usually deceitful methods: finagle a day off from work.
- v. To cheat; swindle: shady stockbrokers who finagle their clients out of fortunes.
- v. To use crafty, deceitful methods.
- v. transitive To obtain, arrange, or achieve by indirect and usually deceitful methods.
- v. transitive, intransitive To cheat or swindle; to use crafty, deceitful methods. (often with "out of" preceding the object)
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. to achieve something by means of trickery or devious methods.
- v. achieve something by means of trickery or devious methods
- Americanism from the 1920s, perhaps combining an alteration of fainaigue ("to renege") with the suffix + -le (“frequentive”); compare haggle. (Wiktionary)
- Probably from dialectal fainaigue, to cheat. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He could always finagle his way out of the tightest corners.”
“Nick Clegg and the Foreign Office, helped by sympathetic, economically liberal member states, may somehow finagle Britain back into the game.”
“Meanwhile for us tourists, our savvy Egyptian guides finagle a police escort that evening across the bridge, and we walk the rest of the way to the haven of our Western hotel.”
“As it turns out, I had to jump on the bus today with a large piece of iron work because it wouldn't fit in our car no matter how I tried to finagle it.”
“She said she intends to maintain her 6 a.m.-to-6 p.m. vigil for at least three weeks of the trial's expected five-week duration—and perhaps longer if she can finagle more vacation time from the electronics firm where she works as a marketing assistant.”
“He managed to finagle quite a few beers out of the flight attendants, and the stories got better as the flight progressed.”
“Some consumers say they can finagle long-term extensions of special promotional rates used to attract new subscribers that normally expire after a year or two.”
“It's probably best to finagle a friendship with a magician so you can forgo the food.”
“She was tightly scripted to finagle all the fabrications closer to believability and still she turned it into word salad.”
“Obama is a vastly superior campaigner than anyone remotely associated with the Republican leadership – which is why his decision to do health care quietly and avoid confrontation in order to finagle votes was so frustrating from a partisan political perspective.”
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