Definition of connive in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈnīv/


[no object] (connive at/in)
1Secretly allow (something considered immoral, illegal, wrong, or harmful) to occur: you have it in your power to connive at my escape
More example sentences
  • I believe that most public servants like their jobs, believe that they're acting in the public interest, would not consciously assist in or connive in something that was clearly morally wrong, let alone criminal.
  • We have handed special advisers immense power by conniving in their attempts to manage the flow of news.
  • The accusation that the king aimed at increasing the royal prerogative or deliberately connived at secret influence will not bear scrutiny.
1.1 (usually connive to do something) Conspire to do something considered immoral, illegal, or harmful: the government had connived with security forces in permitting murder
More example sentences
  • Married to a multimillionaire, she has hustled, harangued, conspired and connived to get Athens to the finish line.
  • And even worse, he may take the weekends to plan and conspire and connive and make sure that he isn't caught when he goes back on his shooting spree during the week.
  • They are scheming and conniving and sometimes thoughtlessly cruel, too.



Pronunciation: /kəˈnīvər/
Example sentences
  • It was her the woman I had seen at the castle earlier, the one which I had believed to be an intruder, a conniver.
  • Adam bought it for me with the help of these two little connivers.
  • In flashbacks he is hampered with the unhappy task of being the innocent amid these connivers, but a stronger actor might have been able to make naïveté more interesting.


Early 17th century: from French conniver or Latin connivere 'shut the eyes (to)', from con- 'together' + an unrecorded word related to nictare 'to wink'.

  • When someone connives at something wrong, they turn a blind eye to it. The word comes from French conniver or Latin connivere meaning ‘to shut your eyes to something’. An early meaning of connivance (late 16th century) was ‘winking’.

Words that rhyme with connive

alive, arrive, chive, Clive, contrive, 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·nive

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