Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

contrivance

noun
     
con‧triv‧ance formal
1 [countable] something that is artificial or does not seem natural, but that helps something else to happen - usually used to show disapproval:
A ridiculous series of plot contrivances moves the film along.
2 [uncountable and countable] a plan or trick to make something happen or get something for yourself, or the practice of doing this:
Harriet's matchmaking contrivances
3 [countable] a machine or piece of equipment that has been made for a special purpose:
a steam-driven contrivance used in 19th century factories

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