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”.
- to cooperate with others secretly in order to commit a crime; to collude
- to plot or scheme
- to pretend to be ignorant of something in order to escape blame
- to be a wench
- second-person singular present active imperative of connīveō