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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 of contrive
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for contrive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And the best way would be, to contrive some means of making her behaviour recoil upon her own head.

  • You little witch, how did you contrive to make a fool of a man like me!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • And when we learn better to enjoy ourselves, then do we unlearn best to give pain unto others, and to contrive pain.

    Thus Spake Zarathustra Friedrich Nietzsche
  • If you, Mr. Temple, can contrive to pass this week at Mr. Percy's, let me not detain you.

  • What if, by some means or other, I contrive to get the jewel from the old woman?

    Folk-Tales of Bengal Lal Behari Day
  • contrive to be in the garden, in disguise, if possible, and unseen by your young lady.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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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