- to plan with ingenuity; devise; invent: The author contrived a clever plot.
- to bring about or effect by a plan, scheme, or the like; manage: He contrived to gain their votes.
- to plot (evil, treachery, etc.).
- to form designs; plan.
- to plot.
Origin of contrive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for contrive
There are thousands of ways to contrive a weapon that's at least as dangerous a two-inch hobby knife.TSA Says Yes to Small Knives, Then No—What’s the Problem?
April 26, 2013
He must contrive to keep his family alive as he strategizes.Turning to Tolstoy’s ‘Hadji Murat’ as Boston Locked Down
April 22, 2013
The Republicans contrive new ways every day to get less popular.Why Obama Needs to Deliver a Tough Inaugural
January 21, 2013
That made me think, maybe they can contrive to do something similar on the mandate.My Supreme Court-Health Care Prediction
June 27, 2012
You little witch, how did you contrive to make a fool of a man like me!Weighed and Wanting
"That's all right," Garson replied, with such carelessness of manner as he could contrive.Within the Law
There is no doubt, replied Altamont, of its utility; but how would you contrive to make it?The Field of Ice
What a vast deal of work you do contrive to cut out for yourself.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
If you, Mr. Temple, can contrive to pass this week at Mr. Percy's, let me not detain you.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
- (tr) to manage (something or to do something), esp by means of a trick; engineerhe contrived to make them meet
- (tr) to think up or adapt ingeniously or elaboratelyhe contrived a new mast for the boat
- to plot or scheme (treachery, evil, etc)
Word Origin and History for contrive
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.