verb con·trive \kən-ˈtrīv\

: to form or think of (a plan, method, etc.)

: to form or make (something) in a skillful or clever way

: to make (something) happen in a clever way or with difficulty


Full Definition of CONTRIVE

transitive verb
a :  devise, plan <contrive ways of handling the situation>
b :  to form or create in an artistic or ingenious manner <contrived household utensils from stone>
:  to bring about by stratagem or with difficulty :  manage <he contrived to win their support>
intransitive verb
:  to make schemes
con·triv·er noun

Examples of CONTRIVE

  1. The prisoners contrived a way to escape.
  2. He contrived a meeting with the president.

Origin of CONTRIVE

Middle English controven, contreven, from Anglo-French controver, contrever, from Medieval Latin contropare to compare, from Latin com- + Vulgar Latin *tropare to compose, find — more at troubadour
First Known Use: 14th century
CONTRIVE Defined for Kids


verb con·trive \kən-ˈtrīv\

Definition of CONTRIVE for Kids

:  2plan 1, plot <We must contrive a way to escape.>
:  to form or make in some skillful or clever way <He contrived a small pipe out of the piece of wood.>
:  to manage to bring about or do <She contrived to get there on time.>


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