contrive


contrive
contrive, devise, invent, frame, concoct mean to find a way of making or doing something or of achieving an end by the exercise of one's mind.
Contrive implies ingenuity or cleverness in planning, designing, or in scheming; it is a matter of indifference whether the end or object is good or bad, since the word stresses the manner of making, doing, or achieving rather than the character of the end
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in every deed of mischief he had a heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute— Gibbon

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if we were perfectly satisfied with the present, we should cease to contrive, to labor, and to save with a view to the future— Macaulay

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she was forced to hurry. And she had risen that morning with plans perfectly contrived for the avoidance of hurry— Bennett

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contrive a way of helping them without their knowing it

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Devise often comes very close to contrive, but in general it throws more stress upon mental effort than upon ingenuity; the term often implies the serious reflection and experimentation that precedes the bringing of something into being, especially something new or quite different
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devise new and dainty dishes for a fastidious taste

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devise an engine of triple the power

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devise a plan of campaign

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devise a new method of teaching a subject

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grossly contriving their dear daughter's good—poor souls, and knew not what they did, but sat ignorant, devising their own daughter's death— Tennyson

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Leonardo was a child even ... in devising fantastic toys and contriving disconcerting tricks— Ellis

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Invent, though often used interchangeably with devise, commonly retains from its primitive senses some notion of finding, but the term comes closer in its implication to originating, especially after thought and reflection, but sometimes more quickly, as the result of a happy accident
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the telescope was invented by Galileo in 1609

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Huxley claims to have invented the term agnostic

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his pains to invent a complete, generally unlovely terminology of his own— Muller

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she was tired of inventing means for making the days and nights pleasant and capriciously variable for others— Van Vechten

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Frame (see also BUILD) implies the exact fitting of one thing to another (as in devising or inventing a story, a theory, or a rule); usually the term suggests an exact fitting (as of the words to the thought, or of the plot, character, and actions to the story as a whole, or of the expression to the spirit, or of the means to the end)
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it will take me some time to frame a proper reply to this letter

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statutes . . . which must needs have been framed for some purpose or other— Kings ley

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never, it may be safely asserted, was a plan of society framed so consistent, harmonious and beautiful in itself— Dickinson

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Concoct especially suggests a bringing together of ingredients in new or unexpected combinations, arrangements, or order so as to enhance their effectiveness (as in writing, in imagining, or in fashioning)
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from the scraps of conversation he had overheard he concocted a plausible and amusing yarn

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the most horrible monsters and tortures ... his fervid imagination could concoct out of his own bitter experiences and the manners and customs of his cruel times— Eliot

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Analogous words: plan, scheme, project (see under PLAN n): manipulate, ply, swing (see HANDLE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Contrive — are a heavy metal band[1] from Melbourne, Australia formed in 1999. Their musical style has been compared to that of Sepultura.[2] The band consists of bassist Tim Stahlmann and twin brothers Paul Haug (vocals, guitars) and Andrew Haug… …   Wikipedia

  • Contrive — Con*trive (k[o^]n*tr[imac]v ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Contrived}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Contriving}.] [OE. contriven, contreven, controven, to invent, OF. controver, contruver; con + trouver to find. See {Troubadour}, {trover}.] To form by an exercise… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contrive — [kən trīv′] vt. contrived, contriving [ME contreven < OFr controver, to find out, contrive, imagine < VL contropare, to compare < com, COM + tropus, TROPE] 1. to think up; devise; scheme; plan [to contrive a way to help] 2. to construct… …   English World dictionary

  • Contrive — Con*trive , v. i. To make devices; to form designs; to plan; to scheme; to plot. [1913 Webster] The Fates with traitors do contrive. Shak. [1913 Webster] Thou hast contrived against th very life Of the defendant. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contrive — I verb arrange, cause, collude, compose, conceive, concoct, connive, consider, conspire, counterplot, design, develop a course, devise, draft, effect, excogitare, fabricate, fashion, forecast, form, frame, imagine, improvise, induce, intrigue,… …   Law dictionary

  • contrive — early 14c., from O.Fr. controver (Mod.Fr. controuver) to find out, contrive, imagine, from L.L. contropare to compare (via a figure of speech), from L. com with (see COM (Cf. com )) + tropus song, musical mode, from Gk. tropos figure of speech… …   Etymology dictionary

  • contrive — [v1] invent, design come up with, concoct, construct, cook up, create, devise, dream up*, engineer, fabricate, fashion, forge, form, formulate, frame*, handle, hatch, improvise, make, make up*, manipulate, manufacture, move, plan, plot, project,… …   New thesaurus

  • contrive — ► VERB 1) devise or plan using skill and artifice. 2) manage to do something foolish. DERIVATIVES contrivable adjective contriver noun. ORIGIN Old French controver imagine, invent , from Latin contropare compare …   English terms dictionary

  • contrive — [[t]kəntra͟ɪv[/t]] contrives, contriving, contrived 1) VERB If you contrive an event or situation, you succeed in making it happen, often by tricking someone. [FORMAL] [V n] The oil companies were accused of contriving a shortage of gasoline to… …   English dictionary

  • contrive — UK [kənˈtraɪv] / US verb Word forms contrive : present tense I/you/we/they contrive he/she/it contrives present participle contriving past tense contrived past participle contrived formal 1) a) [transitive] to make something happen, especially by …   English dictionary


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