A contrivance is a gadget or device that can be used for some particular purpose. The spinning blade of a blender is a contrivance that turns fruits and yogurt into a tasty smoothie. Yum.

A contrivance is a useful device or tool. It might be assembled or invented, and it's often mechanical, although you can really refer to anything that's made for a specific purpose as a contrivance. The word sometimes also implies a falseness or obviousness, like the contrivance of a spy's very fake-looking beard that's supposed to disguise him, or the contrivance of a novel's complicated, unbelievable plot.

Definitions of contrivance

n the faculty of contriving; inventive skill

“his skillful contrivance of answers to every problem”
Type of:
conception, design, excogitation, innovation, invention
the creation of something in the mind

n the act of devising something

Type of:
the act of inventing

n a device or control that is very useful for a particular job

appliance, contraption, convenience, gadget, gismo, gizmo, widget
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appliances collectively
an appliance that allows an object (such as a ship's compass) to remain horizontal even as its support tips
a contrivance for injecting (e.g., water into the boiler of a steam engine or particles into an accelerator etc.)
mod con
modern convenience; the appliances and conveniences characteristic of a modern house
Type of:
an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose

n any improvised arrangement for temporary use

patch, temporary hookup
a connection intended to be used for a limited time
Type of:
an orderly grouping (of things or persons) considered as a unit; the result of arranging

n an artificial or unnatural or obviously contrived arrangement of details or parts etc.

“the plot contained too many improbable contrivances to be believable”
Type of:
arrangement, organisation, organization, system
an organized structure for arranging or classifying

n an elaborate or deceitful scheme contrived to deceive or evade

“his testimony was just a contrivance to throw us off the track”
dodge, stratagem
something planted secretly for discovery by another
pump-and-dump scheme
an illegal scheme for making money by manipulating stock prices; the schemer persuades other people to buy the stock and then sells it himself as soon as the price of the stock rises
wangle, wangling
an instance of accomplishing something by scheming or trickery
Type of:
scheme, strategy
an elaborate and systematic plan of action

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