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

In a report unveiled Thursday, the Secret Service offered schools guidance on spotting suspicious behavior and figuring out when and how to intervene. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Secret Service urges U.S. schools to set up 'threat teams' to prevent shootings," 12 July 2018 Samuel was unable to hold me in place, and my virulent objection to him touching me at all caused the public relations staff to intervene. Marcus Hayes, Philly.com, "Since I was asked: LeSean McCoy handled his issues with me aggressively | Marcus Hayes," 11 July 2018 China’s yuan has sagged against the dollar this year, which might require the central bank to intervene in currency markets. Joe Mcdonald, The Seattle Times, "How China could hurt US once it ran out of imports to tax," 10 July 2018 China’s yuan has sagged against the dollar this year, which might require the central bank to intervene in currency markets. San Antonio Express-News, "China’s options to hit US go beyond imports," 9 July 2018 Congress passed an emergency bill signed by President Bush urging the federal courts to intervene, but the high court refused. Bill Mears, Fox News, "Anthony Kennedy: Swing justice wielded quiet power in a range of high-profile cases," 27 June 2018 Earlier this year, Congress did provide extra funding to allow state programs to intervene early in the case of troubled families, such as providing mental health care, in order to avoid taking children away. The Christian Science Monitor, "Extending compassion beyond migrant kids," 26 June 2018 Many times the best way to intervene doesn’t require getting physically involved. Kasandra Brabaw, refinery29.com, "Please Don't Forget About Safety During Pride," 22 June 2018 The woman asks the officer to intervene, but the officer, seen in the background just yards away, appears not to respond. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "Familiar questions about ‘bystander effect’ arise after man berates woman for Puerto Rico shirt," 12 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

11 Nov 2018

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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