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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for connive
Historical Examples
  • The method by which he got the allies to connive at his doings was twofold.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • They have invented a god of their own who will connive at sin.

    The Great Commission C. H. (Charles Henry) Mackintosh
  • Large sums of money were ready to bribe the turnkey to connive at an escape.

    A Lamp to the Path W. K. Tweedie
  • You must not expect an official to connive at an open breach of the ordinances.

  • It cannot be allowed that Joshua, Samuel, or Ezra, could connive at such a deception.

    The Bible: what it is Charles Bradlaugh
  • It is a dangerous experiment to encourage or connive at misconceptions in a point like this.

  • To connive at the perpetuation of slavery is to disobey the commands of Heaven.

    The Impending Crisis of the South Hinton Rowan Helper
  • Then why did you invent—or connive at the invention of—this story?

    A Butterfly on the Wheel Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • But while you bear with his faults, you must not connive at them.

  • She was afraid to leave her lest she connive with Stowe Webb at some escapade.

    What Will People Say? Rupert Hughes
British Dictionary definitions for connive


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 connive

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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