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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web For all its contrived urgency, Blast Beat is a curiously uninvolving drama that attempts to mine contemporary reality but comes up only with something trite and formulaic. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Blast Beat': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 In the movie, a contrived narrative brings the men together. Washington Post, "What Oscar-hopeful 'The Two Popes' misses about Francis and Benedict's relationship," 27 Dec. 2019 Rather than force it and become contrived, Noisia will spend one final year touring the world in thankful farewell. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Kill The Noise, Mat Zo & More Look Back on Noisia's 20-Year Legacy," 19 Sep. 2019 Yep, the tight group that iconic Canadian commentator Don Cherry blasted for contrived post-win celebrations at home is poised to surprise heavyweights Washington and Pittsburgh. Ross Mckeon,, "NHL preview: Team-by-team analysis, predictions," 27 Sep. 2019 Google’s machine is a special-purpose device that was designed to solve a contrived problem with few practical uses. The Economist, "Google claims to have demonstrated “quantum supremacy”," 26 Sep. 2019 Yet Ricardo Pérez González’s Southern drama of entrenched social bigotries is a contrived melodrama that can’t build up any dramatic momentum without tossing in absurd plot twists. Christopher Arnott,, "Review: Long Wharf’s ‘On the Grounds of Belonging’ a gay, biracial romance set in the segregated ’50s," 18 Oct. 2019 The filming style makes all acting look bad and all action look contrived. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Will Smith’s High-Def Disaster," 8 Oct. 2019 Unilever’s decision to cut its plastic production may seem like a contrived attempt to connect with a younger generation. Mike Corder, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Consumer goods giant Unilever vows to slash use of plastic," 7 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of contrived

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contrived

see contrive

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contrived

Time Traveler for contrived

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for contrived

Last Updated

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contrived.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for contrived


How to pronounce contrived (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of contrived

: having an unnatural or false appearance or quality

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on contrived

What made you want to look up contrived? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!