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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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If you look at the first link found ( thefreedictionary.com/contrive ), 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
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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.

1 Answer

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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