- 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 for contrive on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for contriving
To these scanty means of improvement, she added another of her own contriving.Little Dorrit
And so I was contriving to do all I could to guard against the latter.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
It is plain enough to me that certain people are contriving for his ruin.The Symposium
A man that's so ready for a contingency has generally some hand in contriving it.'The Knight Of Gwynne, Vol. I (of II)
Charles James Lever
Does he keep him in mind years and years and go on contriving miseries for him?Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
- (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 contriving
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.