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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fangelen(verb), from fangel(inclined to take, adjective), from Old English *fangol, *fangel(inclined to take), from fōn(to take, seize). Compare Old English andfangol(undertaker, contractor), Old English underfangelnes(undertaking, hospitality), Middle English fangen(to take, seize, catch). More at fang, onfang.


fangle ‎(third-person singular simple present fangles, present participle fangling, simple past and past participle fangled)

  1. (obsolete or dialectal) To fashion, manufacture, invent, or create.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      To control and new fangle the Scripture.
  2. (obsolete or dialectal) To trim showily; entangle; hang about.
  3. (obsolete or dialectal) To waste time; trifle.
Usage notes[edit]

Although obsolete in general English, the verb is still occasionally used in some regions, and is retained in the expression new fangled.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Back formation from newfangled(adjective) as if new + fangle(noun). See newfangle.


fangle ‎(plural fangles)

  1. (obsolete) A prop; a taking up; a new thing.
  2. Something newly fashioned; a novelty, a new fancy.
  3. A foolish innovation; a gewgaw; a trifling ornament.
  4. A conceit; whim.