con·​niv·​ance kə-ˈnī-vən(t)s How to pronounce connivance (audio)
: the act of conniving
especially : knowledge of and active or passive consent to wrongdoing
He stole millions of dollars with the connivance of his partner.

Examples of connivance in a Sentence

was able to sneak out at night with the connivance of a camp counselor
Recent Examples on the Web With the connivance of federal judges who wish to keep their dockets pared down, big corporations force aggrieved consumers and workers into arbitration, where the latter are at a disadvantage. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 But the one commonality is the halo of protection or connivance or collaboration around these characters. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023 Nearly unseated by his popular prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, in 1953, the shah retained his throne with American and clerical connivance. Laura Secor, Foreign Affairs, 6 Dec. 2013 The complaint also says Davenport has been gaming the system for years with the rest of the board’s connivance — allegations Davenport and the other members of the board have denied. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2023 Back then, legislators were not just opposed to this or that weapon, but American connivance with an immoral war itself. Time, 17 July 2023 Benazir was assassinated in 2007 by the Pakistani Taliban—probably with the connivance of the security forces—while running for a third term in office. Andrew J. Nathan, Foreign Affairs, 13 Oct. 2020 The legislature, with the eager connivance of Governor Tim Walz, voted routinely in partisan lockstep to enact a wish list of left-wing radicalism. The Editors, National Review, 31 May 2023 As the investigation continued, however, Cook and his parents came to suspect that the Murdaughs were trying to pin the blame on him, possibly with the connivance of local law enforcement. James Lasdun, The New Yorker, 16 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'connivance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see connive

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of connivance was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near connivance

Cite this Entry

“Connivance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​niv·​ance kə-ˈnī-vən(t)s How to pronounce connivance (audio)
: the act of conniving
especially : knowledge that something wrong is going on without trying to stop it

Legal Definition


con·​ni·​vance kə-ˈnī-vəns How to pronounce connivance (audio)
: the act of conniving especially with regard to a spouse's marital misconduct (as adultery)
also : a defense to a charge of marital misconduct in a divorce proceeding compare condonation

More from Merriam-Webster on connivance

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