Definition of contrivance in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈtrʌɪv(ə)ns/


1 [mass noun] The use of skill to create or bring about something, especially with a consequent effect of artificiality: the requirements of the system, by happy chance and some contrivance, can be summed up in an acronym
More example sentences
  • But her work is very much about contrivance and artificiality.
  • This contrivance has aesthetic consequences or is associated with aesthetic shortcomings.
  • To the extent that our present structures - while the product essentially of John Hume's contrivance - were put into place by Americans, I think it is proper that we Americans take another hit for this situation.
2 [count noun] A device, especially in literary or artistic composition, which gives a sense of artificiality: the often tiresome contrivances of historical fiction
More example sentences
  • It would have been nice to know if there really was such a thing in the areas that Britain colonized or if it was merely a fictional contrivance of the writer.
  • Even if you look past some of the unbelievable contrivances of this portrayal of the U. S. judicial system and just basic common sense, there's nothing that really stands out in this movie.
  • A big part of it has to do with lame plot contrivances that slow the movie down rather than speeding it up.
2.1A thing which is created skilfully and inventively to serve a particular purpose: an assortment of electronic equipment and mechanical contrivances
More example sentences
  • It was a bunch of people who got together to try to nut out a problem, or to think about a problem, and I think to say what they came up with is a contrivance merely to serve the interests of organ donation is unfair.
  • His life seemed a contrivance, a bureaucratic invention.
  • The term 'robot' came into popular use after 1923 to delineate either mechanical contrivances so ingenious as to be almost human, or workers whom repetitive work was reducing to machines.
British informal doodah, doobry, gubbins
North American informal dingus, doodad, doojigger, doohickey
Australian informal bitzer
Australian/New Zealand informal thingo

Words that rhyme with contrivance


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|triv¦ance

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