contrivance : Definition, Usages, News and More

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kuhn trahy vuhns

  • n  a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
  • n  the faculty of contriving; inventive skill
    his skillful contrivance of answers to every problem
  • n  an elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade
    his testimony was just a contrivance to throw us off the track
  • n  an artificial or unnatural or obviously contrived arrangement of details or parts etc.
    the plot contained too many improbable contrivances to be believable
  • n  any improvised arrangement for temporary use
  • n  the act of devising something

  • Because Professor Allison's magneto-optical apparatus is his own contrivance, many a scientist doubted his discoveries.
  • The 100-day marker is a journalistic contrivance often used to evaluate new administrations.
  • Dulles, Eden argues, "strung Britain along over many months of negotiation from pretext to pretext, from device to device and from contrivance to contrivance.
News & Articles

  • 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.)
    June 17, 2013 - The New Yorker

  • Brian Mulroney in
    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."
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson in Middle East Online
    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.
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson in The Advocate
    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."

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