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contrive

[kuh n-trahyv] /kənˈtraɪv/
verb (used with object), contrived, contriving.
1.
to plan with ingenuity; devise; invent:
The author contrived a clever plot.
2.
to bring about or effect by a plan, scheme, or the like; manage:
He contrived to gain their votes.
3.
to plot (evil, treachery, etc.).
verb (used without object), contrived, contriving.
4.
to form designs; plan.
5.
to plot.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English contreven < Middle French contreuv-, tonic stem of controver to devise, invent, Old French: to decide, agree upon < Late Latin contropāre to compare, equivalent to con- con- + *tropāre (> French trouver to find; see trover); development of vowel unclear
Related forms
contrivable, adjective
contriver, noun
precontrive, verb, precontrived, precontriving.
uncontriving, adjective
Synonyms
1. design, concoct. See prepare. 3. conspire, scheme. 5. connive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for contrive
  • In fact, would-be loggers sometimes contrive phoney agricultural schemes purely as an excuse to clear-cut forests.
  • His delight and intent was to discover the surreal in the real, not to contrive surreal imagery.
  • They believed in it, and this gave them a dignity that no amount of pomp could contrive.
  • Or they can arrive separately at the place where boats are rented, each rent a boat, and then contrive to meet on the water.
British Dictionary definitions for contrive

contrive

/kənˈtraɪv/
verb
1.
(transitive) to manage (something or to do something), esp by means of a trick; engineer he contrived to make them meet
2.
(transitive) to think up or adapt ingeniously or elaborately he contrived a new mast for the boat
3.
to plot or scheme (treachery, evil, etc)
Derived Forms
contrivable, adjective
contriver, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French controver, from Late Latin contropāre to represent by figures of speech, compare, from Latin com- together + tropus figure of speech, trope
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for contrive
v.

early 14c., from Old French controver (Modern French controuver) "to find out, contrive, imagine," from Late Latin contropare "to compare" (via a figure of speech), from Latin com- "with" (see com-) + tropus "song, musical mode," from Greek tropos "figure of speech" (see trope).

Sense evolution (in French) was from "invent with ingenuity" to "invent falsely." Spelled contreve until unexplained 15c. sound change that also affected briar, friar, choir. Related: Contrived; contriving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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