in·​ter·​cede ˌin-tər-ˈsēd How to pronounce intercede (audio)
interceded; interceding

intransitive verb

: to intervene between parties with a view to reconciling differences : mediate
interceder noun

Did you know?

The Latin cedere means "to go", so "go between" is the most literal meaning of intercede. (The same -cede root can also be seen in such words as precede and secede.) If you've been blamed unfairly for something, a friend may intercede on your behalf with your coach or teacher. More often, it will be the coach or teacher who has to intercede in a student dispute. The intercession of foreign governments has sometimes prevented conflicts from becoming worse than they otherwise would have.

Choose the Right Synonym for intercede

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

Example Sentences

Their argument probably would have become violent if I hadn't interceded. When the boss accused her of lying, several other employees interceded on her behalf.
Recent Examples on the Web Medieval Christians thought that saints like Hippolytus and Becket could intercede on behalf of sick animals. John Last, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Oct. 2022 What drove the creation of divine beings and objects that can inspire and intercede on the behalf of writers? Joyce Kinkead, The Conversation, 10 Oct. 2022 Police said a preliminary investigation indicated a female student and other students at a lunch table began a verbal argument and a male campus monitor walked over to the table to intercede. Megan Jones, Chicago Tribune, 3 Nov. 2022 Congress could also intercede under federal law to extend the strike deadline or set contract terms that both sides must accept. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Trump does not always have to intercede for extreme candidates who have mimicked his style to rise in Republican primaries. Nicholas Riccardi,, 24 Aug. 2022 An Indianapolis woman and her adult son arrived at an east side apartment complex last week to intercede in a fight between the woman's daughter and boyfriend. The Indianapolis Star, 1 Nov. 2022 Distressed, Livingston asked Gene Kelly to intercede. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 And some professional photographers have gone so far as to intercede on social media, urging amateurs to request compensation before handing over rights to their images. Jeremy Barr, Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intercede.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin intercedere, from inter- + cedere to go

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of intercede was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near intercede

Cite this Entry

“Intercede.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​ter·​cede ˌint-ər-ˈsēd How to pronounce intercede (audio)
interceded; interceding
: to act as a go-between for hostile parties
: to plead in behalf of another

More from Merriam-Webster on intercede

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?