Definition of connive
1 : to pretend ignorance of or fail to take action against something one ought to oppose The government connived in the rebels' military buildup.
2a : to be indulgent or in secret sympathy : wink The captain connived at the smuggling of goods aboard his ship.b : to cooperate secretly or have a secret understanding officials who connive with drug dealers
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Examples of connive in a Sentence
the principal connived at all the school absences that were recorded on the day of the city's celebration of its Super Bowl victory
suspects that his coworkers are conniving to get him fired
Recent Examples of connive from the Web
See Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and the always-conniving penguins.
The jealous co-stars, frustrated crew and conniving producers are all suspects!
But the sound bites in this mockumentary, where their whining and conniving are exposed, are filmed in a cramped studio in the production offices here belonging to its creator and showrunner, Kulap Vilaysack.
As a conniving early-adopter, Clytemnestra had grim proof of concept that people will follow a red strip of textile.
The actress, who plays conniving first lady Claire Underwood opposite Kevin Spacey’s mercenary President Frank Underwood, has won a Golden Globe and earned multiple Emmy nominations for her work on the show.
Unaccountably angry and smug, the scraggy Smithers is Brutus’s cynical, conniving cohort.
Max and Leo connive to oversell a Broadway show to supporters, who won’t miss the money when the show fails.
Mr. Trump’s other mentor was the caustic and conniving McCarthy-era lawyer Roy Cohn, who counseled Mr. Trump never to give in or concede error.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'connive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Connive may not seem like a troublesome term, but it was to Wilson Follett, a usage critic who lamented that the word was undone during the Second World War, when restless spirits felt the need of a new synonym for plotting, bribing, spying, conspiring, engineering a coup, preparing a secret attack. Follett thought "connive" should only mean "to wink at" or "to pretend ignorance." Those senses are closer to the Latin ancestor of the word ("connive" comes from the Latin connivēre, which means "to close the eyes" and which is descended from "-nivēre," a form akin to the Latin verb nictare, meaning "to wink"). But many English speakers disagreed, and the "conspire" sense is now the word's most widely used meaning.
Origin and Etymology of connive
French or Latin; French conniver, from Latin conivēre, connivēre to close the eyes, connive, from com- + -nivēre (akin to nictare to wink); akin to Old English & Old High German hnīgan to bow
First Known Use: 1601See Words from the same year
CONNIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of connive for English Language Learners
: to secretly help someone do something dishonest or illegal
Legal Definition of connive
: to assent knowingly and wrongfully without opposition to another's wrongdoing; specifically : to knowingly consent to a spouse's marital misconduct and especially to adultery
Origin and Etymology of connive
Latin con(n)ivere to close one's eyes, knowingly overlook something
Seen and Heard
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