Contrive, devise, invent, frame, concoct mean to find a way of making or doing something or of achieving an end by the exercise of one’s mind.
Contrive implies ingenuity or cleverness in planning, designing, or in scheming; it is a matter of indifference whether the end or object is good or bad, since the word stresses the manner of making, doing, or achieving rather than the character of the end.
Devise often comes very close to contrive, but in general it throws more stress upon mental effort than upon ingenuity; the term often implies the serious reflection and experimentation that precedes the bringing of something into being, especially something new or quite different.
Invent, though often used interchangeably with devise, commonly retains from its primitive senses some notion of finding, but the term comes closer in its implication to originating, especially after thought and reflection, but sometimes more quickly, as the result of a happy accident.
Frame (see also BUILD) implies the exact fitting of one thing to another (as in devising or inventing a story, a theory, or a rule); usually the term suggests an exact fitting (as of the words to the thought, or of the plot, character, and actions to the story as a whole, or of the expression to the spirit, or of the means to the end).
Concoct especially suggests a bringing together of ingredients in new or unexpected combinations, arrangements, or order so as to enhance their effectiveness (as in writing, in imagining, or in fashioning).