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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As I attempted to lift the lid of the piano, she stepped forward to help me raise it before the maids of honor could intervene.

    Musical Memories Camille Saint-Sans
  • And it thereupon became necessary for Beauchene to intervene.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • It was not that I had saved my own life—I had managed to intervene between Helen and a fate worse than death.

    Mystery Ranch Arthur Chapman
  • She always resented any slight on it, and Mrs. Herriton had to intervene.

  • A contest took place between the Suevi and the Cherusci, in which Rome declined to intervene.

    The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI. Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
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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