- To connive is to cooperate secretly to do something wrong or illegal or to encourage wrong or illegal behavior.
When you create a secret plan to do something wrong with a friend, this is an example of connive.
intransitive verbconnived, conniving
- to pretend not to see or look (at something wrong or evil), thus giving tacit consent or cooperation; feign ignorance of another's wrongdoing
- to cooperate secretly (with someone), esp. in wrongdoing; conspire
- to scheme in an underhanded way
Origin of connive; from Classical Latin conivere, to wink, connive ; from com-, intensive + base akin to nictare, to wink ; from Indo-European base an unverified form knei-gwh-, to bend from source Gothic hneiwan, to bend, bow, Old English hnigian, to bow (the head)
intransitive verbcon·nived, con·niv·ing, con·nives
- To cooperate secretly in an illegal or wrongful action; collude: The dealers connived with customs officials to bring in narcotics.
- To scheme; plot.
- To feign ignorance of or fail to take measures against a wrong, thus implying tacit encouragement or consent: The guards were suspected of conniving at the prisoner's escape.
Origin of conniveLatin cōnīvēre, connīvēre, to close the eyes.
(third-person singular simple present connives, present participle conniving, simple past and past participle connived)
Circa 1600, from French conniver, from Latin connīveō (“wink”), or directly from Latin, from com- (“together”) + base akin to nictō (“I wink”), from Proto-Indo-European *knei-gwh- (“to bend”). See also English nictate (“to wink”), from same Latin base.
Sense comes from extension of “to wink” into “to wink (at a crime), to be privy”.