intervene

verb
in·​ter·​vene | \ ˌin-tər-ˈvēn \
intervened; intervening

Definition of intervene

intransitive verb

1 : to occur, fall, or come between points of time or events only six months intervened between their marriage and divorce
2 : to enter or appear as an irrelevant or extraneous feature or circumstance it's business as usual until a crisis intervenes
3a : 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)
4 : to occur or lie between two things
5a : 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

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Other Words from intervene

intervention \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈven(t)-​shən \ noun
interventional \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈvench-​nəl , ˈven(t)-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of intervene in a Sentence

Twenty years intervened between their first and last meetings. The prisoner asked me to intervene with the authorities on his behalf. The military had to intervene to restore order. We will leave on time unless some crisis intervenes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Currently, only the state attorney general can intervene in... Joe Barrett, WSJ, "Michigan Governor Vetoes Measure Granting New Authority to Legislature," 29 Dec. 2018 But fate intervenes when Fonny angers a white policeman and is unjustly accused of assaulting a woman. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "If Beale Street Could Talk’s Colman Domingo on how movie roles for black men are changing," 14 Dec. 2018 However, more weather problems intervened, and a launch is now set for 2:52am September 23, Japan time. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SpaceX says it would launch weapons, Bezos plays for defense, too," 21 Sep. 2018 In two prominent recent examples, civilians have, as in Oklahoma City, successfully intervened in mass shootings. Frances Stead Sellers, Washington Post, "Two Oklahoma citizens killed an active shooter, and it's not as simple as it sounds," 13 July 2018 President Trump has intervened in one of the most sensitive political battles in the American West, pardoning two Oregon ranchers whose imprisonment inflamed a protest movement against the government’s management of federal land. Matt Pearce, latimes.com, "With two pardons, Trump wins goodwill in the ranching world," 11 July 2018 The driver intervened and was able to push the suspect out. Alex Riggins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Bus stabbing sends victim to hospital with life-threatening injuries, ends in arrest," 11 July 2018 The full appeals court intervened and overturned his ruling. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? The Yale Grad Is Trump's Second Supreme Court Pick," 10 July 2018 The wait will continue until an accord is met or another team intervenes, with conversations continuing in the interim. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With recent additions, Bucks starting to take shape," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intervene.' 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 intervene

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intervene

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

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Statistics for intervene

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intervene

The first known use of intervene was in 1587

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More Definitions for intervene

intervene

verb

English Language Learners 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

intervene

verb
in·​ter·​vene | \ ˌin-tər-ˈvēn \
intervened; intervening

Kids Definition of intervene

1 : to come or occur between events, places, or points of time One week intervened between games.
2 : to interfere with something so as to stop, settle, or change I intervened in their quarrel.

intervene

intransitive verb
in·​ter·​vene | \ ˌin-tər-ˈvēn \
intervened; intervening

Legal Definition of intervene

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 resultHooks Superx, Inc. v. McLaughlin, 642 N.E.2d 514 (1994)
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

Other Words from intervene

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

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Comments on intervene

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