[ kuh-nahyv ]
See synonyms for: conniveconnivingconniver on

verb (used without object),con·nived, con·niv·ing.
  1. to cooperate secretly; conspire (often followed by with): They connived to take over the business.

  2. 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.

  1. 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)

Other words for connive

Other words from connive

  • con·niv·er, noun
  • con·niv·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·con·nived, adjective
  • un·con·niv·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with connive

Words Nearby connive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use connive in a sentence

  • No money-making graft is too petty or too immoral for the MacMorroghs to connive at.

    Empire Builders | Francis Lynde
  • When I suggested that he connive with the governor toward removing our sheriff, he declared that the governor was a coward.

    The Little Brown Jug at Kildare | Meredith Nicholson

British Dictionary definitions for connive


/ (kəˈnaɪv) /

  1. to plot together, esp secretly; conspire

  2. (foll by at) law to give assent or encouragement (to the commission of a wrong)

Origin of connive

C17: from French conniver, from Latin connīvēre to blink, hence, leave uncensured; -nīvēre related to nictāre to wink

Derived forms of connive

  • conniver, noun
  • connivingly, adverb

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