Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To plan with cleverness or ingenuity; devise.
  • intransitive verb To invent or fabricate, especially by improvisation.
  • intransitive verb To plan with evil intent; scheme.
  • intransitive verb To bring about, as by scheming; manage.
  • intransitive verb To form plans or schemes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To wear away; spend.
  • To make out; discover; imagine: as, what had become of him I could not contrive.
  • To invent; devise; plan.
  • To manage, by a device, stratagem, plan, or scheme: with an infinitive as object: as, he contrived to gain his point.
  • Synonyms To design, project, plot, concoct, hatch, form, frame, brew.
  • To form schemes or designs; plan; scheme.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To make devices; to form designs; to plan; to scheme; to plot.
  • transitive verb To form by an exercise of ingenuity; to devise; to invent; to design; to plan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To form by an exercise of ingenuity; to devise; to plan; to scheme; to plot.
  • verb To invent, to make devices; to form designs especially by improvisation.
  • verb To project, cast, or set forth, as in a projection of light.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb put or send forth
  • verb make or work out a plan for; devise
  • verb come up with (an idea, plan, explanation, theory, or principle) after a mental effort

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English contreven, from Old French controver, contreuv-, from Medieval Latin contropāre, to compare : Latin com-, com- + Latin tropus, turn, manner, style (from Greek tropos; see trep- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English contreve ("to invent"), Old French controver (French controuver), from trover ("to find") (French trouver).

Examples

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