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[in-ter-veen] /ˌɪn tərˈvin/
verb (used without object), intervened, intervening.
to come between disputing people, groups, etc.; intercede; mediate.
to occur or be between two things.
to occur or happen between other events or periods:
Nothing important intervened between the meetings.
(of things) to occur incidentally so as to modify or hinder:
We enjoyed the picnic until a thunderstorm intervened.
to interfere with force or a threat of force:
to intervene in the affairs of another country.
Law. to interpose and become a party to a suit pending between other parties.
Origin of intervene
1580-90; < Latin intervenīre to come between, equivalent to inter- inter- + venīre to come; see convene
Related forms
reintervene, verb (used without object), reintervened, reintervening.
unintervening, adjective
1. arbitrate, interpose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for intervene
  • If possible, senior colleagues should intervene in such disputes.
  • He also prefers to revisit stale arguments rather than intervene in current controversies.
  • Genetic modification can help that if hysterical politics don't intervene.
  • Society was not there to intervene as a consequence they are paying to support them for the rest of their lives.
  • To say that none but the perp are guilty means that nobody has a legal or moral duty to intervene or report this behavior.
  • The logic of the situation compelled authorizers to intervene in private as well as commercial communications.
  • She hopes that understanding how branching normally happens will reveal ways to intervene when it goes awry.
  • His role, he said, is that of a sheepdog with the training and temperament to intervene.
  • Restive followers have been pushing for a new owner, and some have called on sponsors to intervene.
  • It is not a non-profit foundation's right to intervene.
British Dictionary definitions for intervene


verb (intransitive)
(often foll by in) to take a decisive or intrusive role (in) in order to modify or determine events or their outcome
foll by in or between. to come or be (among or between)
(of a period of time) to occur between events or points in time
(of an event) to disturb or hinder a course of action
(economics) to take action to affect the market forces of an economy, esp to maintain the stability of a currency
(law) to interpose and become a party to a legal action between others, esp in order to protect one's interests
Derived Forms
intervener, intervenor, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin intervenīre to come between, from inter- + venīre to come
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for intervene

1580s, back-formation from intervention, or else from Latin intervenire "to come between, intervene, interrupt," from inter "between" (see inter-) + venire "to come" (see venue). Related: Intervened; intervening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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