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Surmise vs Contrive - What's the difference?

surmise | contrive |

As verbs the difference between surmise and contrive

is that surmise is while contrive is to form by an exercise of ingenuity; to devise; to plan; to scheme; to plot.




(en noun)
  • Thought, imagination, or conjecture, which may be based upon feeble or scanty evidence; suspicion; guess.
  • surmises of jealousy or of envy
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • No man ought to be charged with principles he actually disowns, unless his practices contradict his profession; not upon small surmises .
  • * 1919 ,
  • The meeting had been devoid of incident. No word had been said to give me anything to think about, and any surmises I might make were unwarranted. I was intrigued.
  • Reflection; thought; posit.
  • (Shakespeare)


  • To conjecture, to opine or to posit with contestable premises.
  • contrive



  • To form by an exercise of ingenuity; to devise; to plan; to scheme; to plot.
  • * Hawthorne
  • Neither do thou imagine that I shall contrive aught against his life.
  • * 1813 , Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice , Modern Library Edition (1995), page 154
  • I cannot bear the idea of two young women traveling post by themselves. It is highly improper. You must contrive to send somebody.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=10 citation , passage=With a little manœuvring they contrived to meet on the doorstep which was […] in a boiling stream of passers-by, hurrying business people speeding past in a flurry of fumes and dust in the bright haze.}}
  • To invent, to make devices; to form designs especially by improvisation.
  • To project, cast, or set forth, as in a projection of light.
  • Synonyms

    * becast * cast about

    Derived terms

    * contriver * contrivance