If you see something that seems fake since it was too perfectly planned out, call it contrived. If you can easily predict the final minutes of a made-for-TV movie, then call it contrived.

The adjective contrived describes something that is artificially planned, especially in an obvious way, so it comes across as faked or forced. It's not just drama that can come off as contrived. Someone's speech habits, wardrobe, or even personality can seem contrived. Whenever someone appears as if he or she is "trying too hard," they might seem contrived, or the opposite of "natural."

Definitions of contrived
  1. adjective
    showing effects of planning or manipulation
    “a novel with a contrived ending”
    designed or carried out according to a plan
  2. adjective
    artificially formal
    contrived coyness”
    synonyms: artificial, hokey, stilted
    affected, unnatural
    speaking or behaving in an artificial way to make an impression
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week