Definition of contrive in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈtrīv/


[with object]
1Create or bring about (an object or a situation) by deliberate use of skill and artifice: his opponents contrived a crisis you contrived to be alone with me despite the supervision
More example sentences
  • I do not think these coincidences were consciously contrived.
  • The plot contrives miracles and coincidence to suggest there's something deeper going on behind the free-wheeling mess on-screen.
  • I was satisfied, however, that her account of the relevant conversations was an honest one, in the sense that they had not been deliberately contrived by her as a false account.
1.1Manage to do something foolish or create an undesirable situation: the poor guy in some way contrived to hang himself
More example sentences
  • Scotland contrived to manage what eight different nations had failed signally to do in Cardiff yesterday - they lost to Wales.
  • Where other managements would somehow contrive to squeeze double the number of rooms within the same confines, they always seems to go in the opposite direction, as though trying to see how few rooms he can incorporate.
  • By doing so they contrived to create, among other problems, the great gasoline shortage of the 1970s.





Pronunciation: /kənˈtrīvər/
Example sentences
  • Very true, of course, but that a man as intelligent as him, a master contriver of logic games and word puzzles, could have so misunderstood the crux of the play is amazing.
  • As his secretary later wrote: ‘in matters of counsel, nothing for the most part was done without him, for that nothing was thought well done whereof he was not the contriver and director.’
  • And this accession of revenue will accrue to the individual benefit of the contriver, so long as the contrivance can be confined to his own knowledge…


Middle English: from Old French contreuve-, stressed stem of controver 'imagine, invent', from medieval Latin contropare 'compare'.

Words that rhyme with contrive

alive, arrive, chive, Clive, connive, deprive, dive, drive, five, gyve, hive, I've, jive, live, MI5, revive, rive, shrive, skive, strive, survive, swive, thrive

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·trive

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