su·​per·​vene | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈvēn How to pronounce supervene (audio) \
supervened; supervening

Definition of supervene

intransitive verb

: to follow or result as an additional, adventitious, or unforeseen development

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Other Words from supervene

supervention \ ˌsü-​pər-​ˈven(t)-​shən How to pronounce supervention (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for supervene



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follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after something or someone. follow may apply to a coming after in time, position, or logical sequence. speeches followed the dinner succeed implies a coming after immediately in a sequence determined by natural order, inheritance, election, or laws of rank. she succeeded her father as head of the business ensue commonly suggests a logical consequence or naturally expected development. after the talk a general discussion ensued supervene suggests the following or beginning of something unforeseen or unpredictable. unable to continue because of supervening circumstances

Examples of supervene in a Sentence

They had a quiet, happy life until the war supervened. it was not the slow-spreading cancer that caused his death but a supervening heart attack

First Known Use of supervene

1636, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for supervene

Latin supervenire, from super- + venire to come — more at come

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Time Traveler for supervene

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The first known use of supervene was in 1636

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Cite this Entry

“Supervene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce supervene (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of supervene

formal : to happen unexpectedly in a way that interrupts, stops, or greatly changes an existing situation
su·​per·​vene | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈvēn How to pronounce supervene (audio) \
supervened; supervening

Medical Definition of supervene

: to follow or result as an additional, adventitious, or unlooked-for development (as in the course of a disease) the majority of patients die once this complication supervenesScientific American Medicine
su·​per·​vene | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈvēn How to pronounce supervene (audio) \
supervened; supervening

Legal Definition of supervene

: to take place after or later in the course of something else as an additional and usually unforeseeable development with intervening or countering effect

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