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Definition: To lure by flattery.

Pronunciation: in-vey-gul

Origin: Entered into English in the late 15th century. From vulgar Latin aboculus, meaning ‘without sight’.

Why this word?

A purveyor of flattery, associated words have a special interest for me. What fascinates me about inveigle, however, is the root of the word. The vulgar Latin root, as explained, means ‘without sight’ or ‘blind’. Therefore, the word essentially means to blind someone from the truth – to weave an enticing and seductive lie. It seems a most appropriate description.

Additionally, it seems an oddly appropriate word for the action it describes. The sounds in the word – in – vey – gul – are quite distinct from each other – as if the word itself is trying different ways of catching your attention as it tries to inveigle itself into your awareness. It also has the quality of one of those appropriately nonsensical, made-up words that flustered college students happen upon as they search for a word that doesn’t really exist.

How to use this word

This is one that is ready for use. The next time you use flattery to warm your way into a concert? Tell your friends that you managed to inveigle your way in. I guarantee that they will automatically know what you are talking about.


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Written by Sean Carabini

Seán Carabini is a Dublin-based author. To date, Seán has written the humorous travel memoirs 'Sticking Out in Minnesota' and 'American Road', as well as 'American Road: The poems' - a book of travel poetry related to the memoir. Seán has also developed a podcast based on the book - subscribe to the American Road podcast today! Seán is a committee member of the Irish Writers' Union.

Chrissy Skelton is Seán Carabini's editor. A graduate of the University of Minnesota's Anthropology programme, Chrissy emerged armed with an arsenal of little-known words and cumbersome jargon - all of which will now be off-loaded onto 'unusedwords' readers!


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