Definition of connive in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈnʌɪv/


[no object] (connive at/in)
1Secretly allow (something immoral, illegal, or harmful) to occur: government officials were prepared to connive in impeding the course of justice
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.
deliberately ignore, overlook, not take into consideration, disregard, pass over, gloss over, take no notice of, take no account of, make allowances for, turn a blind eye to, close/shut one's eyes to, wink at, blink at, excuse, pardon, forgive, condone, let someone off with, let go, let pass;
1.1 (usually connive to do something) Conspire to do something immoral, illegal, or harmful: she connived with a senior official to rig the results of last year’s election
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.
conspire, collude, be in collusion, collaborate, intrigue, be hand in glove, plot, participate in a conspiracy, scheme
informal be in cahoots
rare machinate, cabal, complot
manipulative, Machiavellian, unscrupulous, unprincipled, disingenuous;
informal foxy
South African informal slim
archaic subtle



Pronunciation: /kəˈnʌɪvə/
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

Line breaks: con|nive

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