con·​trived | \ kən-ˈtrīvd How to pronounce contrived (audio) \

Definition of contrived

: having an unnatural or false appearance or quality : artificial, labored a contrived plot

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Examples of contrived in a Sentence

… it may remind readers of Christopher Nolan's ingeniously contrived mystery film "Memento" … — Joyce Carol Oates, New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2005 The music industry has become far more image conscious and contrived since her first album affected me so profoundly … — Lisa Marie Presley, Time, 18 Apr. 2005 There are some who scorn that sterling art form, the afternoon soap opera, alleging that its characters are unbelievable, its plots contrived and its action negligible. — Lydel Sims, Assignment: Memphis, 1982 The movie's contrived ending was a big disappointment. The results of the test seemed somewhat contrived.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This might sound pedantic and contrived, but the mathematical study of paradoxes is important for several reasons. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, "Paradoxes, From Your Coffee to Calculus," 25 July 2018 The growing prevalence of that mentality undercuts the relevance of bowl games whose relevance was already somewhat contrived. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Now Missing From Bowl Games: Top College Football Players," 11 Dec. 2018 This creates a sugar high of satisfaction - a false sensation of being on offense for once, rather than being on defense about some contrived controversy. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Hillary Clinton’s press secretary on why beating Trump in 2020 is harder than you think," 14 Nov. 2018 Winner: Outlaw King, despite a contrived battlefield duel between Bruce and the Prince of Wales. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 The setup may seem contrived but the tentative friendship never strains credulity. Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘Paris Echo’ Review: The Light Behind the Veil," 8 Nov. 2018 This is how contrived - or overblown - controversies are born. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Hillary Clinton’s press secretary on why beating Trump in 2020 is harder than you think," 14 Nov. 2018 What might have appeared formulaic or contrived if done by stars less chameleonic and down-to-earth than Cooper and Gaga, instead feels pure, alive, and mystifying. Nick Williams, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Star Is Born," 30 Oct. 2018 So there are times the chip on Michigan State’s shoulder seems a bit contrived — the Spartans came into this season ranked 11th in the country, three spots ahead of Michigan. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "No. 24 Spartans have ‘chip’ back with No. 6 Michigan looming," 16 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contrived.' 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 contrived

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contrived

see contrive

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Statistics for contrived

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for contrived

The first known use of contrived was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of contrived

: having an unnatural or false appearance or quality

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Comments on contrived

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