- 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
- (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 pre-contrived
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.