v. fi·na·gled, fi·na·gling, fi·na·gles
1. To obtain or achieve by cleverness or deceit, especially in persuading someone: finagle a day off from work; finagled a reservation at the popular restaurant.
2. To cheat; swindle: shady stockbrokers who finagle their clients out of fortunes.
To use clever or deceitful means to obtain or achieve something.
[Probably from dialectal fainaigue, to cheat.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.