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[kuh-nahyv] /kəˈnaɪv/
verb (used without object), connived, conniving.
to cooperate secretly; conspire (often followed by with):
They connived to take over the business.
to avoid noticing something that one is expected to oppose or condemn; give aid to wrongdoing by forbearing to act or speak (usually followed by at):
The policeman connived at traffic violations.
to be indulgent toward something others oppose or criticize (usually followed by at):
to connive at childlike exaggerations.
Origin of connive
1595-1605; (< French conniver) < Latin co(n)nīvēre to close the eyes in sleep, turn a blind eye, equivalent to con- con- + -nīvēre, akin to nictāre to blink (cf. nictitate)
Related forms
conniver, noun
connivingly, adverb
unconnived, adjective
unconniving, adjective
Can be confused
connive, conspire.
1. plan, plot, collude. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for conniving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My father has done us the honor of looking us up, to accuse me of conniving at the kidnapping of Mrs. Masterson's boy.

    A Man's Hearth Eleanor M. Ingram
  • It never struck him that he was conniving at fraud; if it had, he would not have been deterred.

  • Do you know I could indict you for conspiracy and conniving at theft?'

    Uncle Max Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • She felt that she had been conniving in one of the spy-plots that all the Empire was talking about.

    The Cup of Fury Rupert Hughes
  • We shall never cast out the devil while conniving at his crimes.

    Broken Bread Thomas Champness
British Dictionary definitions for conniving


verb (intransitive)
to plot together, esp secretly; conspire
(foll by at) (law) to give assent or encouragement (to the commission of a wrong)
Derived Forms
conniver, noun
connivingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French conniver, from Latin connīvēre to blink, hence, leave uncensured; -nīvēre related to nictāre to wink
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for conniving

1783, present participle adjective from connive. Earlier in this sense was connivent.



c.1600, from Latin connivere, also conivere "to wink," hence, "to wink at (a crime), be secretly privy," from com- "together" (see com-) + base akin to nictare "to wink," from PIE root *kneigwh- (see nictitate). Related: Connived; conniving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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