contrive

verb
con·​trive | \ kən-ˈtrīv How to pronounce contrive (audio) \
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

Though its heroine is informed by Levinson’s youth, Euphoria’s nihilism feels as contrived as a Burger King ad. Judy Berman, Time, "In HBO’s Bleak Gen Z Drama, Euphoria Is the Opposite of Happiness," 13 June 2019 Fenty’s insistence on leaving Chuol’s scars is being applauded by fans because in a world of filters and social media contrived existences, people are yearning for something real. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Rihanna Sends A Message About Beauty With Website Photos Showing Model’s Scars," 13 June 2019 Below that, arranged like the dots on the five face of a die, were the F-1 engines on which the success of the whole Moon-project rested: exquisitely engineered, cunningly contrived, ludicrously powerful. Oliver Morton, WIRED, "The Beauty and Madness of Sending a Man to the Moon," 4 June 2019 Still, in some Bond films, plots can be stale, jokes can fall flat, and acting can come across as contrived, tired or uninspired. Charles Stockdale And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "Every James Bond film ranked from worst to best," 18 June 2018 Yet several plot points tend toward the contrived and would likely be more believable onstage, with the special intimacy that theater can afford. Timothy Mcneil, New York Times, "Review: ‘Anything’ Finds a Small-Town Man Baffled by the Big City," 10 May 2018 Utterly contrived, but utterly charming, this quick, silly, funny film is pabulum superfood for anyone who believes in second chances and true love. . Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Yes, which is just all contrived and, of course, completely ridiculous. Fox News, "Pence on impact of anonymous NYT op-ed, Woodward's new book," 9 Sep. 2018 No need to get clinical about the plot turn, which seems at once intriguing and contrived. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Private Life’ Review: A Couple in Creative Crisis," 4 Oct. 2018

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

22 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce contrive (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on contrive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contrive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contrive

Spanish Central: Translation of contrive

Nglish: Translation of contrive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contrive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on contrive

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