Definition of contrive
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.>
: to make schemes
Examples of contrive in a sentence
The prisoners contrived a way to escape.
He contrived a meeting with the president.
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 14th century
CONTRIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of contrive for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of contrive for Students
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