intervene

verb
in·​ter·​vene | \ ˌin-tər-ˈvēn How to pronounce intervene (audio) \
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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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

His office later told AP that the government wouldn’t intervene, as Vale is a private company. Peter Prengaman, The Seattle Times, "Searchers probe deep mud from Brazil dam breach; 65 dead," 29 Jan. 2019 But senior White House aides acknowledge that the courts would likely intervene and thwart construction while the litigation unfolds. Peter Nicholas, WSJ, "President Trump, After Shutdown Ends, Says ‘We Will Build the Wall’," 26 Jan. 2019 Trump continues not to accept the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russians intervened in the U.S. campaign and did so deliberately to help him. David Lauter, latimes.com, "As Trump readies Supreme Court pick, Democrats prepare a fight even though a loss is likely," 6 July 2018 Get our daily newsletter Six cases of gigantism stand out most, with the firms becoming so big that governments intervened. The Economist, "History’s biggest firms," 5 July 2018 Left-wing critics subsequently complained that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee consistently intervenes against left-leaning candidates, many of whom happen to be people of color. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Bernie Sanders Is Not the Left," 26 June 2018 Traditionally, oncologists favor an aggressive approach, offering and recommending interventions as a means to avoid malpractice litigation arising from a patient’s perception that a physician could have intervened sooner. Katherine Drabiak, Washington Post, "As more women turn to genetic testing for breast cancer, understanding risk is key," 25 June 2018 New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb further explains the white-dominance of public spaces — the napping while, walking while, barbequeing while black phenomenon — and the insistence that the authorities intervene at the first sign of white discomfort. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: Can Starbucks Change America?," 31 May 2018 Frustrated by the meeting being canceled, Weaver reached out to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and asked that officials there intervene. Monique Judge, The Root, "#Flint: Mayor Seeks EPA’s Help in Restoring Bottled-Water-Distribution Service," 1 May 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

13 May 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 How to pronounce intervene (audio) \
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 How to pronounce intervene (audio) \
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 How to pronounce intervenor (audio) \ noun

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Comments on intervene

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