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verb, in·ter·vene \ˌin-tər-ˈvēn\

Simple Definition of intervene

  • : to come or occur between two times or events

  • : to become involved in something (such as a conflict) in order to have an influence on what happens

  • : to happen as an unrelated event that causes a delay or problem

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of intervene


  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to occur, fall, or come between points of time or events <only six months intervened between their marriage and divorce>

  3. 2 :  to enter or appear as an irrelevant or extraneous feature or circumstance <it's business as usual until a crisis intervenes>

  4. 3 a :  to come in or between by way of hindrance or modification <intervene to stop a fight> b :  to interfere with the outcome or course especially of a condition or process (as to prevent harm or improve functioning)

  5. 4 :  to occur or lie between two things

  6. 5 a :  to become a third party to a legal proceeding begun by others for the protection of an alleged interest b :  to interfere usually by force or threat of force in another nation's internal affairs especially to compel or prevent an action

intervention play \-ˈven(t)-shən\ noun
interventional play \-ˈvench-nəl, ˈven(t)-shə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of intervene in a sentence

  1. Twenty years intervened between their first and last meetings.

  2. The prisoner asked me to intervene with the authorities on his behalf.

  3. The military had to intervene to restore order.

  4. We will leave on time unless some crisis intervenes.

Origin of intervene

Latin intervenire to come between, from inter- + venire to come — more at come

First Known Use: 1587

Synonym Discussion of intervene

interpose, interfere, intervene, mediate, intercede mean to come or go between. interpose often implies no more than this <interposed herself between him and the door>. interfere implies hindering <noise interfered with my concentration>. intervene may imply an occurring in space or time between two things or a stepping in to stop a conflict <quarreled until the manager intervened>. mediate implies intervening between hostile factions <mediated between the parties>. intercede implies acting for an offender in begging mercy or forgiveness <interceded on our behalf>.

INTERVENE Defined for Kids


verb in·ter·vene \ˌin-tər-ˈvēn\

Definition of intervene for Students


  1. 1 :  to come or occur between events, places, or points of time <One week intervened between games.>

  2. 2 :  to interfere with something so as to stop, settle, or change <I intervened in their quarrel.>

Law Dictionary


intransitive verb in·ter·vene \ˌin-tər-ˈvēn\

Legal Definition of intervene


  1. 1 :  to occur, fall, or come between points of time or events <may be held liable even though other independent agencies intervene between his negligence and the ultimate result — Hooks Superx, Inc. v. McLaughlin, 642 N.E.2d 514 (1994)>

  2. 2a :  to come in or between by way of hindrance or modification <intervene to stop a fight> b :  to become a party to a legal proceeding begun by others in order to protect an alleged interest in the subject matter of the proceeding <the Commissioner of Internal Revenue was granted leave to intervene — P. A. Freund> — compare implead, interplead, join

intervenor \-ˈvē-nər, -ˌnȯr\ play noun

Seen and Heard

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to expose to danger or risk

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