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contrive

[kuh n-trahyv]
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verb (used with object), con·trived, con·triv·ing.
  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), con·trived, con·triv·ing.
  1. to form designs; plan.
  2. to plot.

Origin of contrive

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 formscon·triv·a·ble, adjectivecon·triv·er, nounpre·con·trive, verb, pre·con·trived, pre·con·triv·ing.un·con·triv·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1. design, concoct. See prepare. 3. conspire, scheme. 5. connive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contriver

Historical Examples

  • It is the contriver, the schemer, who is caught by the Law, and never the philosopher.

    The Day's Work, Volume 1

    Rudyard Kipling

  • The fountain of these waters is as unknown as the contriver of them.

  • Let that author and contriver of human suffering be suppressed.

  • But I knew not that thou wert the contriver of the ambuscade.

    Boscobel: or, the royal oak

    William Harrison Ainsworth

  • Loki was an evil deity, the contriver of all fraud and mischief.

    The Student's Mythology

    Catherine Ann White


British Dictionary definitions for contriver

contrive

verb
  1. (tr) to manage (something or to do something), esp by means of a trick; engineerhe contrived to make them meet
  2. (tr) to think up or adapt ingeniously or elaboratelyhe contrived a new mast for the boat
  3. to plot or scheme (treachery, evil, etc)
Derived Formscontrivable, adjectivecontriver, 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

Word Origin and History for contriver

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