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.
Recent Examples of contrive from the Web
More than that, Houck somehow contrives to build violins as well.
When Mr. Oppenheim strays from that treasure trove of interview notes the results can be contrived or clumsy, starting with the clumsiness of the interview itself.
In a year sick with images of destruction, from the Tet offensive in Vietnam to the murder of Dr. King, a scene was recorded that had been contrived to shock people to attention, and did so.
Staffers at All Def Digital had contrived the awards’ categories, nominees, and winners, with the exception of the Best Picture and Most Quoted Movie categories, whose winners were decided by online voters.
Somehow this small woman in a cotton sari and with a tidy gray bun contrived to put the place on the international tourist map, expanding its 4 rooms to 25 and adding a pool.
Fate could not have contrived a more dramatic opportunity to prove government’s efficacy.
Based on the last film, one might imagine that it will be contrived and ridiculous, involving everything and anything except people fighting in the street.
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.
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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