contrive

verb
con·trive | \ kən-ˈtrīv \
contrived; contriving

Definition of contrive 

transitive verb

1a : devise, plan contrive ways of handling the situation The prisoners contrived a way to escape.

b : to form or create in an artistic or ingenious manner contrived household utensils from stone Native Americans contrived weapons out of stone, wood, and bone.

2 : to bring about by stratagem or with difficulty : manage he contrived to win their support

intransitive verb

: to make schemes

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Other words from contrive

contriver noun

Examples of contrive in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Still, even with the favorable air and contrived setting of a pro day, there were subtle gasps from scouts and coaches observing Allen. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Josh Allen: What He Could Be, and What He Is Now," 10 Apr. 2018 And yet there remains a level of frustration that feels outsized; perhaps even contrived. Marcus Hayes, Philly.com, "Philly sports fans should enjoy the ride | Marcus Hayes," 13 May 2018 Eventually the craft does take off, but never leaves the atmosphere, the better to contrive a parachute-free falling stunt for the big finish. New York Times, "Review: Jackie Chan Battles a Goofy Plot in ‘Bleeding Steel’," 5 July 2018 Despite its occasionally melodramatic and contrived plot elements, the screenplay co-written by Vranik and Ivan Szabo never succumbs to bathos. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Citizen': Film Review," 5 July 2018 Moments like that, in which semi-surreal details are happened upon rather than contrived, demonstrate Van Sant at his most easeful, and the languor is sustained by Jonah Hill, as Donnie, a rich and sickly soul who becomes John’s A.A. sponsor. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Gus Van Sant’s Semi-Surreal “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot”," 13 July 2018 Yes, the plot is contrived, and implausible, and full of masks and identity thefts, but the film aggressively owns its premise. refinery29.com, "Mission Impossible: Fallout Is As Wild & Fun As Henry Cavill's Mustache," 12 July 2018 There was nothing contrived about the violence to Jack Perkins, who remembered reporting for NBC from the top of a mobile unit truck in Chicago as police clashed with protesters and injured two network camera operators. Stephen Battaglio, latimes.com, "War, riots and assassinations: 1968's TV news paved the way for today's endless, opinion-heavy coverage," 23 Mar. 2018 Use strong colors like canary and fluorescent pink paired with pastel pink, blue and shades of beige, but remember to distribute your palette unevenly to keep the look cool, not contrived. Putnam & Putnam, Harper's BAZAAR, "Introducing: The Wedding Colors For Spring," 17 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contrive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contrive

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for contrive

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contrive

The first known use of contrive was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for contrive

contrive

verb

English Language Learners Definition of contrive

: 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

contrive

verb
con·trive | \ kən-ˈtrīv \
contrived; contriving

Kids Definition of contrive

1 : plan entry 2 sense 1, plot We must contrive a way to escape.

2 : to form or make in some skillful or clever way He contrived a small pipe out of the piece of wood.

3 : to manage to bring about or do She contrived to get there on time.

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Comments on contrive

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