in·​ter·​ven·​tion | \ ˌin-tər-ˈven(t)-shən How to pronounce intervention (audio) \
plural interventions

Definition of intervention

: the act or an instance of intervening the intervention of divine providence : such as
a : the act of interfering with the outcome or course especially of a condition or process (as to prevent harm or improve functioning) educational intervention surgical interventions Some women fear a specific intervention, such as being induced, having an emergency cesarean section or going through a forceps delivery.— Paula Spencer
b : the interference of a country in the affairs of another country for the purpose of compelling it to do or forbear doing certain acts … obscures Eisenhower's decisive personal role in converting the CIA from an intelligence agency into an instrument for American intervention around the world.— Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
c : an occurrence in which a person with a problem (such as a drug addiction) is confronted by a group (as of friends or family members) whose purpose is to compel the person to acknowledge and deal with the problem stage/mount an intervention Coaching colleagues and former players pleaded with him to reengage with the game, to no avail, until 1989, when a number of them prepared to stage an intervention.— Alexander Wolff

Other Words from intervention

interventional \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈvench-​nəl How to pronounce intervention (audio) , ˈven(t)-​shə-​nᵊl How to pronounce intervention (audio) \ adjective
interventional cardiology

First Known Use of intervention

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Intervention.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for intervention


in·​ter·​ven·​tion | \ ˌin-tər-ˈven-shən \

Kids Definition of intervention

: the act or fact of taking action about something in order to have an effect on its outcome The dispute required intervention.


in·​ter·​ven·​tion | \ ˌint-ər-ˈven-chən How to pronounce intervention (audio) \

Medical Definition of intervention

: the act or fact or a means of interfering with the outcome or course especially of a condition or process (as to prevent harm or improve functioning) Many patients with a flail mitral leaflet present with acute severe mitral regurgitation and pulmonary edema, requiring prompt surgical intervention.— Catherine M. Otto, The Journal of the American Medical Association Another helpful postpartum intervention is the inexpensive, uterine-contracting drug misoprostol, which has been shown by research in India to prevent up to half of all postpartum hemorrhaging if administered within a few minutes after delivery.— Judith F. Helzner, Ms. Magazine

Other Words from intervention

intervene \ -​ˈvēn How to pronounce intervention (audio) \ intransitive verb intervened; intervening
Chemoprevention is the attempt to use natural and synthetic compounds to intervene in the early precancerous stages of carcinogenesis, before invasive disease begins. — Peter Greenwald, Scientific American
interventional \ -​ˈvench-​(ə-​)nəl How to pronounce intervention (audio) \ adjective
Interventional radiologists perform surgery guided by X-ray images to stop bleeding from the intestines, prevent some strokes and treat other problems. — Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times … these agents are given while preparations for thrombolytic therapy or interventional cardiac catheterization are being made. — E. William Hancock, Scientific American Bulletin
interventionist \ -​ˈven-​chə-​nist How to pronounce intervention (audio) \ noun or adjective
Stange et al. recently discovered that family physicians are more interventionist in their screening than the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends. — John M. Lee, The New England Journal of Medicine


in·​ter·​ven·​tion | \ ˌin-tər-ˈven-chən How to pronounce intervention (audio) \

Legal Definition of intervention

: the act or an instance of intervening specifically : the act or procedure by which a third party becomes a party to a pending proceeding between other parties in order to protect his or her own interest in the subject matter of the suit — compare impleader, interpleader, joinder

Note: Intervention developed as a procedure in equity courts. There is some overlap between joinder and intervention because of the merger of law and equity in federal practice.

intervention of right
: intervention allowed in federal civil procedure when a statute grants an absolute right to intervene or when the applicant claims an interest in the subject of the proceeding that the applicant may be impeded from protecting by the disposition of the proceeding

Note: Intervention of right will not be granted if the court considers that the applicant's interest is already adequately represented.

permissive intervention
: intervention allowed in federal civil procedure when a statute grants a conditional right to intervene or when the applicant's claim has a question of law or fact in common with the proceeding

More from Merriam-Webster on intervention

Nglish: Translation of intervention for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intervention for Arabic Speakers


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