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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), German fangen (to 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 newfangled.

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.