Definition of wangle in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈwaNGɡəl/


[with object]
Obtain (something that is desired) by persuading others to comply or by manipulating events: I wangled an invitation to her party I think we should be able to wangle it so that you can start tomorrow
More example sentences
  • If anyone could have dreamed up an unlikely idea like the Wooden Horse and wangled his way into Troy, he would have.
  • Having wangled a job on the support staff - ‘the best grounding I could have had’ - she had daily access to the editors and decision-makers in every title.
  • When I was trying to wangle invitations to Washington to talk about this stuff, they would get private investors to hop on a plane and fly to New Haven to see it.


An act or an instance of obtaining something by persuasion or manipulation: they regarded the coalition as a wangle
More example sentences
  • One Labour MP hinted that Smith's case was a wangle, and mentioned other sportsmen and celebrities who had returned home quickly after call-up.



Pronunciation: /ˈwaNG(ə)lər/
Example sentences
  • It was cast by an angler and a wangler, neither of which was within the law.
  • We'll take care of all the work for you: your horse will be saddled and ready for each ride, and Jan and our friendly cowgirl wanglers will give you an enjoyable riding experience.
  • Our private transportation will take us to the town of Cachora where our mule wanglers, mules and horses are waiting.


Late 19th century (first recorded as printers' slang): of unknown origin; perhaps based on the verb waggle.

  • wag from Middle English:

    The sort of wagging done by dogs is from the Old English word wagian ‘to sway’, source also of waggle (late 16th century). Wangle (late 19th century) is first recorded as printers' slang. The origin is unknown but is perhaps based on waggle. Wag meaning ‘a joker’ is a different word, dating from the 16th century, which first meant ‘a mischievous boy or lively young man’, and was often used as a fond name for a child. Showing the grim gallows humour of the times, it probably comes from waghalter, ‘a person likely to be hanged’. In the 2006 World Cup a new meaning of wag suddenly became popular. The WAGs were the Wives and Girlfriends of the England players. The term had already been used in the 2004 European Championship.

Words that rhyme with wangle

angle, bangle, bespangle, dangle, entangle, fandangle, jangle, mangel, mangle, spangle, strangle, tangle, wide-angle, wrangle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: wan·gle

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.