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So I am looking up the meaning of 'contrive' in google using:

define contrive

And it says:

1. Create or bring about (an object or a situation) by deliberate use of skill and artifice.
2. Manage to do something foolish or create an undesirable situation.

However when I typed define contrived, I get:

1. Deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously.
2. Giving a sense of artificiality.

I assume contrived is a different word altogether. But can it also be used as the past tense of contrive?

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closed as general reference by Hellion, John Lawler, Andrew Leach, RegDwigнt May 17 '13 at 10:53

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If you look at the first link found ( ), it lists "contrived, contriving, contrives" as the conjugations of the verb. This info shows up in the google search summary, you don't even need to click through. – Hellion May 16 '13 at 14:39
First thing I thought of was contrive, controve, contriven, which would be fun, but apparently is not yet on The Academy's docket. – John Lawler May 16 '13 at 17:15

1 Answer 1

The past-participle form of a verb is often used as an adjective. For example:

  • The written word
  • The fried food
  • The contrived example

The past-participle form of a verb is often the same as the past-tense conjugation (fried, contrived, but not written). If the past-participle form of a verb is used as an adjective very often, or the adjectival meaning of the past-participle evolves, then it might be listed as its own dictionary entry (like with contrived in your example). Of course, contrived is still a past-tense-conjugated verb as well.

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