verb (used without object), con·nived, con·niv·ing.

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 formscon·niv·er, nouncon·niv·ing·ly, adverbun·con·nived, adjectiveun·con·niv·ing, adjective
Can be confusedconnive conspire

Synonyms for connive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for connive

Historical Examples of connive

  • The method by which he got the allies to connive at his doings was twofold.



  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for connive


verb (intr)

to plot together, esp secretly; conspire
(foll by at) law to give assent or encouragement (to the commission of a wrong)
Derived Formsconniver, nounconnivingly, adverb

Word Origin for connive

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

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