AskDefine | Define contrivance

Dictionary Definition

contrivance

Noun

1 a device that is very useful for a particular job [syn: appliance, contraption, convenience, gadget, gizmo, gismo, widget]
2 the faculty of contriving; inventive skill; "his skillful contrivance of answers to every problem"
3 an elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade; "his testimony was just a contrivance to throw us off the track" [syn: stratagem, dodge]
4 an artificial or unnatural or obviously contrived arrangement of details or parts etc.; "the plot contained too many improbable contrivances to be believable"
5 any improvised arrangement for temporary use [syn: lash-up]
6 the act of devising something [syn: devisal]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

See etymology of "to contrive".

Noun

  1. a (mechanical) device to perform a certain task
  2. a means, such as an elaborate plan or strategy, to accomplish a certain objective
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 266b.
      And along with each of these go their images, not the things themselves, — they too have come about by godlike contrivance.
  3. something overly artful or artificial

Usage notes

See usage note at device.

Translations

a (mechanical) device to perform a certain task
  • German: Vorrichtung
a means, such as an elaborate plan plan or strategy, to accomplish a certain objective
  • German: Vorrichtung, Erfindung
something overly artful or artificial

Related terms

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Charlie McCarthy, action, ad hoc measure, agent, anagnorisis, ancilla, angle, answer, apparatus, appliance, approach, architectonics, architecture, argument, arrangement, art, artful dodge, artifice, atmosphere, attack, authorship, background, beginning, blind, blueprint, blueprinting, brainchild, cabal, calculation, catastrophe, characterization, charting, chicanery, coinage, collusion, color, complication, complicity, complot, conception, concoction, confederacy, connivance, conspiracy, continuity, contraption, contriving, countermove, counterplot, coup, course of action, covin, craft, creation, creative effort, creature, cute trick, deceit, deep-laid plot, demarche, denouement, design, development, device, devising, disposition, dodge, dummy, dupe, effort, engineering, enterprise, envisagement, episode, expedient, fable, fabrication, fakement, falling action, feint, fetch, figuring, finagling, finesse, foresight, forethought, frame-up, gadget, gambit, game, generation, gimcrack, gimmick, gizmo, go-between, graphing, grift, ground plan, guidelines, hand tool, handmaid, handmaiden, hatching, idea, implement, improvisation, incident, instrument, intention, interagent, intermediary, intermediate, intermedium, intrigue, invention, jugglery, jury-rig, jury-rigged expedient, knavery, last expedient, last resort, last shift, layout, lever, line, lineup, little game, local color, long-range plan, machination, makeshift, making do, maneuver, maneuvering, manipulation, mapping, master plan, means, measure, mechanical device, mechanism, mediator, medium, method, methodology, midwife, minion, mintage, mood, motif, move, movement, mythos, operations research, organ, organization, origination, pawn, peripeteia, pis aller, plan, planning, planning function, plaything, plot, plotting, ploy, power tool, prearrangement, precision tool, procedure, program, program of action, puppet, racket, rationalization, recognition, red herring, resort, resource, rigging, rising action, ruse, schedule, schema, schematism, schematization, scheme, scheme of arrangement, schemery, scheming, secondary plot, servant, setup, shake-up, shift, slant, slave, sleight, solution, speed tool, step, stooge, stopgap, story, stratagem, strategic plan, strategy, stroke, stroke of policy, structure, subject, subplot, subterfuge, switch, system, systematization, tactic, tactical plan, tactics, temporary expedient, the big picture, the picture, thematic development, theme, tone, tool, topic, toy, trick, trickery, trump, twist, underplot, utensil, vehicle, way, web of intrigue, wile, wily device, wire-pulling, working hypothesis, working plan, working proposition
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1