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

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 In an age of perfectly posed, poised, and sometimes photoshopped celebrity Instagrams, Alex Rodriguez’s was a silly reprieve, one that seemed off the cuff, or at the very least, not overtly contrived. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Rejoice in This Video of Jennifer Lopez Singing “Don't Stop Believin’” to Alex Rodriguez on a Yacht," 7 Aug. 2018 The Egyptian has scored a record breaking 32 Premier League goals for Liverpool in his debut season for the club, while also contriving to win a host of individual awards. SI.com, "Jurgen Klopp Claims it Will Take 15 Years for Mohamed Salah to Match Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo," 20 May 2018 The use of Christian images and icons feels contrived, however. New York Times, "This Artist Foresaw Our Digital Future in a Meadow of Dandelions," 21 June 2018 Such theatrical devices are nothing new, and the multiple shifts and meetings between timelines could easily seem clichéd or contrived if not for the smooth, almost dispassionate way Fox handles them. Robert Lloyd, latimes.com, "Director Jennifer Fox has turned the pain and confusion of childhood sexual abuse into ‘The Tale’," 25 May 2018 Hackers briefly took control of the website of Qatar’s official news agency last summer, and posted a false account of a speech by the emir that appeared contrived to irk the Arab states and Washington. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "A Top Trump Fund-Raiser Says Qatar Hacked His Email," 5 Mar. 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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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

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