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

Leaving the danger to fester might allow the threat to grow until Western forces are compelled to intervene directly and massively. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 Policymakers — states, cities, utilities, the feds — need to intervene. David Roberts, Vox, "Most American homes are still heated with fossil fuels. It’s time to electrify.," 2 July 2018 In his version of their history, beatings were commonplace — punishments for minor infractions or poor performances — and his mother Katherine was powerless to intervene. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, "Joe Jackson Was Left Out of Son Michael's Will: 'This Is a Decision His Son Made' Says Lawyer," 27 June 2018 Fortunately, police say, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer had the medical skills to intervene. Jane Wester, charlotteobserver, "He smashed a window after getting kicked out of a bar. A CMPD cop may have saved his life," 20 June 2018 Researchers are trying to find ways to intervene early enough to halt the progression of Alzheimer’s, and ultimately prevent it. Amy M. Miller, STAT, "Studying sex differences will improve health for women and men," 13 June 2018 Despite severing official ties with Taipei in 1979, Washington has acted as the backstop for Taiwan’s security through arms sales and a vow to intervene should China attempt to claim Taiwan by force. Debby Wu, Bloomberg.com, "New U.S. Taiwan Office Prompts Questions Over Who'll Lead It," 12 June 2018 The Secret Service also came to Jackson’s defense, releasing a statement denying a report that officers had to intervene to stop Jackson from potentially disturbing President Obama while on an overseas trip. Maya Rhodan, Time, "White House: Ronny Jackson Is Not Leaving His Post," 30 Apr. 2018 The film's producer and co-director Nick Loeb, speaking with The Hollywood Reporter about the incident, claims that the two men caused such a stir that U.S. Park Police officers had to intervene. Paul Bond, The Hollywood Reporter, "Daily Beast Reporter Involved In Altercation At Pro-Life 'Roe v. Wade' Shoot," 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

16 Sep 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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