• WordNet 3.6
    • v contrive come up with (an idea, plan, explanation, theory, or principle) after a mental effort "excogitate a way to measure the speed of light"
    • v contrive put or send forth "She threw the flashlight beam into the corner","The setting sun threw long shadows","cast a spell","cast a warm light"
    • v contrive make or work out a plan for; devise "They contrived to murder their boss","design a new sales strategy","plan an attack"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Contrive kŏn*trīv" To form by an exercise of ingenuity; to devise; to invent; to design; to plan. "What more likely to contrive this admirable frame of the universe than infinite wisdom.""neither do thou imagine that I shall contrive aught against his life."
    • v. i Contrive To make devices; to form designs; to plan; to scheme; to plot. "The Fates with traitors do contrive .""Thou hast contrived against th very life
      Of the defendant."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • contrive To invent; devise; plan.
    • contrive To manage, by a device, stratagem, plan, or scheme: with an infinitive as object: as, he contrived to gain his point.
    • contrive Synonyms To design, project, plot, concoct, hatch, form, frame, brew.
    • contrive To form schemes or designs; plan; scheme.
    • contrive To wear away; spend.
    • contrive To make out; discover; imagine: as, what had become of him I could not contrive.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Contrive kon-trīv′ to plan: to invent: to bring about or effect: to plot
    • v.t Contrive kon-triv′ (obs.) to spend, as time.
    • ***


  • Edward Gibbon
    “A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern.”
  • Thomas Carlyle
    “Ill-health, of body or of mind, is defeat. Health alone is victory. Let all men, if they can manage it, contrive to be healthy!”
  • Pierre Charron
    Pierre Charron
    “Pleasure and pain, though directly opposite are contrived to be constant companions.”
  • Robert Collier
    “Every contrivance of man, every tool, every instrument, every utensil, every article designed for use, of each and every kind, evolved from a very simple beginnings.”
  • G. O. Ashley
    G. O. Ashley
    “Like other occult techniques of divination, the statistical method has a private jargon deliberately contrived to obscure its methods from non-practitioners.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. contriven, contreven, controven, to invent, OF. controver, contruver,; con-, + trouver, to find. See Troubadour trover
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. conter-ĕre, contritum, perf. contrīvi, to wear out.


In literature:

After such fashion let us, then, if we can contrive to do so, regard the Italians during their subjection to the Church and Austria.
"Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2" by John Addington Symonds
It is to the perfect contrivance of life our statement refers.
"The Birth-Time of the World and Other Scientific Essays" by J. (John) Joly
If Governor Mifflin should show any symptoms of ceremony, pray contrive to parry them.
"Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson" by Thomas Jefferson
The secret of the little contrivance is easily told.
"Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making" by William Hamilton Gibson
Her mother and she contrived to fit up the baby's cradle for me against night.
"Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift
It was by such means that the young general, as profound a politician as he was a great captain, contrived to ingratiate himself with the people.
"History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 12 (of 12)" by S. Rappoport
He wore loose silk trousers, and the round legs inside moved like a contrivance made out of two gate-posts.
"Romance" by Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
One of the searchers had drawn a watch-like contrivance from my waistcoat pocket.
"Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons" by Henry Charles Mahoney
By their contrivance, secret nuptials are brought about.
"Tales from the Hindu Dramatists" by R. N. Dutta
We here see a scene of dark, mysterious contrivance: let us now see what is brought out in the face of open day.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XII. (of XII.)" by Edmund Burke

In poetry:

"An' aft, whan naither bite nor sowp
The parents could their bairnies gie,
They wad contrive some slee bit ploy
To stap their cravin's for a wee.
"Grannie's Crack Aboot The Famine In Auld Scotlan' In 1739-40" by Janet Hamilton
Well, here has hoarding been and hiving,
And not a little good contriving,
Before a home of peace and ease
Was fashioned out of things like these!
"The Sparrow's Nest" by Mary Botham Howitt
Yes, yes, thought he; and heav'd a sigh,
Die when he will he's not your debtor:
I must obey, and he must die,—
That's if I can't contrive it better.
"Abner And The Widow Jones" by Robert Bloomfield
But while this pining, pouting Muse
The interval ignores,
Deft industry, no time to lose,
Contrives and carries, hoists and hews,
And symmetry restores.
"Improvement." by Hattie Howard
Before thou couldst spring to the ground,
Her boy made her triumph complete;
And contriving a marvellous wound,
He has stretch'd her foe dead at her feet.
"The Lion" by William Hayley
"Come, nonsense!" said good DOCTOR BROWN.
"So this is Turkish coyness, is it?
You must contrive to fight it down -
Come, come, sir, please to be explicit."
"Ben Allah Achmet, or, the Fatal Tum" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

At the start of Bastion , the Narrator feels like a contrivance.
) The author provides a fictional past and a fictional last book for Freud in this wonderfully contrived novel that evokes Freud's ambition as well as his self-deception.
' Beastly ' review: Want some contrived romance.
Charles Dickens's bulky novels, with their bright moralism and their hectic, contrived and neatly tied-up plots, must have offered Victorian readers many of the satisfactions we now associate with moviegoing.
A small specialized mechanical device, a contrivance.
BIOGRAPHIES can be wearisome contrivances, often too long and too detailed for their own good.
David Reed's Chilly Contrivance : Hyperstylized, Squiggly Forms.
Contrived or real, grudges sell.
Gerwig wasted in contrived break-up tale.
War on Christmas' is contrived .
Morose 'Restless' is a little too contrived .
'Beastly' review: Want some contrived romance.
Stars can't steer contrived road trip.
'Spring Fever' a contrived melodrama.
Obama foes contrived speech controversy to hassle president.

In science:

They are simpler and less contrived than earlier proposals.
The Utility of Quantum Field Theory
The interesting question is now: Can we find graphs such that the quantum walk mixes exponentially faster than its classical brother? Unfortunately the answer is ’NO’ in all but possibly very contrived cases.
Quantum random walks - an introductory overview
It seems unlikely, though, that this contrived geometry of line emission should occur for the ma jority of systems.
Star formation rate indicators in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Of course it might be possible to obtain a better fit by introducing additional parameters to the analysis, but this would be at the price of making the model more contrived.
Structure formation with strongly interacting neutrinos - implications for the cosmological neutrino mass bound
The first option contr adicts all modeling of the gravitational lensing in this system, whereas the second is extremely contrived.
Interpreting microlensing signal in QSO 2237+0305: Stars or planets?