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[kuh n-trahy-vuh ns] /kənˈtraɪ vəns/
something contrived; a device, especially a mechanical one.
the act or manner of contriving; the faculty or power of contriving.
a plan or scheme; expedient.
Origin of contrivance
1620-30; contrive + -ance
Related forms
noncontrivance, noun
precontrivance, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contrivance
  • One is overly aware of the long arms of coincidence and contrivance.
  • Only some psychological contrivance can lure them to act in their own self interests.
  • She not only sings beautifully but her luminous interpretations truly communicate as well, without contrivance.
  • But the winds never picked up and the center never formed sufficiently for such human contrivance.
  • All the while, the audience is supposed to be regaled by the sheer craft and contrivance of it all.
  • Without a cultural context, vegan has seemed more contrivance than a cuisine.
  • Within the film's context, however, this contrivance works magnificently.
  • But a hint of mechanical contrivance is soon and ominously dropped with the word that the blonde is a deceiver.
  • It has an air of studied contrivance and artificiality.
  • Its resolution ultimately revolves around a mechanical plot contrivance.
British Dictionary definitions for contrivance


something contrived, esp an ingenious device; contraption
the act or faculty of devising or adapting; inventive skill or ability
an artificial rather than natural selection or arrangement of details, parts, etc
an elaborate or deceitful plan or expedient; stratagem
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 contrivance

1620s, from contrive + -ance.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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