February 22, 2012
connive (verb)
\kuh-NYVE\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to cooperate secretly or have a secret understanding
How do you use it?
Alex knew that his friends and family had connived for weeks to lure him to the restaurant, but he pretended that the party was a complete surprise.
Are you a word wiz?

What do you think the root word of "connive" means?

"Connive" comes from the Latin verb "conivere" (from "com-" plus "nivere"), which means "to close the eyes." Another Latin word, "nictare," which is akin to "nivere," means "to wink." In both cases, when people "close their eyes" to or "wink" at something, they are pretending to be ignorant of what is going on, when they are probably very aware of the facts. In fact, a wink is often an outward sign between two people that they share a secret understanding.
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