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

Definition of intercede

intransitive verb

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

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Other Words from intercede

interceder noun

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

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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.

Examples of intercede in a Sentence

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 The measure provides that an officer who receives training in use-of-force practices and fails to intercede could be disciplined up to and including the same penalty as the officer who committed the excessive force. Patrick Mcgreevy, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Minority chief McCarthy, in his desperate hour of need, Got Dumpty on the phone and begged his boss to intercede. John Lithgow, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 The goal seems to be to persuade Arizona's Legislature to intercede with the state's election results. Staff Reports, The Arizona Republic, 25 Sep. 2021 Sometimes, such as cases of fundamental liberties and public health emergencies, Washington has an obligation to intercede. Steve Chapman,, 29 Sep. 2021 Her style mixes straightforward language and confessional frankness with sudden disjunctures and imagines mundane scenes into which strange images intercede. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021 Had the schedule not done the trick for them, somebody might have had to intercede. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 16 Sep. 2021 As shutdown orders clamped down, 32 contractors whose job is to directly intercede in gun violence were relegated to remote work. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Sep. 2021 The importance of the law -- and the court's early unwillingness to intercede to block it -- extends well beyond Texas. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 1 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of intercede

1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intercede

Latin intercedere, from inter- + cedere to go

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Time Traveler for intercede

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The first known use of intercede was in 1597

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intercede.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for intercede



English Language Learners Definition of intercede

: to try to help settle an argument or disagreement between two or more people or groups : to speak to someone in order to defend or help another person


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

Kids Definition of intercede

1 : to try to help settle differences between unfriendly individuals or groups I interceded to stop the argument.
2 : to plead for the needs of someone else Atkins fell upon his knees to beg the captain to intercede with the governor for his life …— Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

More from Merriam-Webster on intercede

Nglish: Translation of intercede for Spanish Speakers


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