contrivance contrivance  /kən ˈtraɪ vəns/


  1. (n) a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
  2. (n) the faculty of contriving; inventive skill
  3. (n) an elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade
  4. (n) an artificial or unnatural or obviously contrived arrangement of details or parts etc.
  5. (n) any improvised arrangement for temporary use
  6. (n) the act of devising something


  1. Because Professor Allison's magneto-optical apparatus is his own contrivance, many a scientist doubted his discoveries.
  2. The 100-day marker is a journalistic contrivance often used to evaluate new administrations.
  3. The flashes of harsh, white light strip Fifi's face of her makeupand her contrivance.


  • Hilton Als: “Far from Heaven” and the problem musical.

    8220;Far from Heaven” (at Playwrights Horizons) is a problem musical, a genteel contrivance wrapped in “issues”—racism, homophobia, misogyny—that limit the show, even as they are intended to expand, and then blow, our minds. There’s nothing sui generis about this latest . . . (Subscription required.)
    on June 17, 2013     Source: The New Yorker


  1. Mulroney writes that Bouchard's resignation was a "complete contrivance. Not only was no principle involved, but he had ascribed his actions to noble motives, when the truth revealed the exact opposite."
    on Sep 7, 2007 By: Brian Mulroney Source:

  2. When Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Manners: a contrivance of wise men to keep fools at a distance," the wise men he probably had in mind were simply people in power, the fools being the rest of us: the powerless.
    on Jan 2, 2007 By: Ralph Waldo Emerson Source: Middle East Online

  3. Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson said, "Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again."
    on Jun 13, 2007 By: Henri Cartier-Bresson Source: The Advocate

Word of the Day
repudiate repudiate
/ri ˈpju di ˌeɪt /