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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.
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 intervened
  • He was repeatedly summoned for interrogations by the police, until intelligence officials intervened.
  • Foreign reporters intervened, and he was rushed bleeding to a hospital by aid workers.
  • Last summer, a special three-judge federal court intervened.
  • None intervened to correct or disparage the white actor, nor did they report being upset by his comments when questioned later.
  • Officials intervened to block outspoken candidates from winning seats.
  • They intervened in a host of small financial fires, using low interest rates to put out the flames.
  • Governments intervened strongly to arrest the implosion of the global financial system.
  • For days the president refused even to meet any of his ministers and broke his silence only after his priest intervened.
  • When he has intervened to make known his wishes, his influence is such that it is taken as an order.
  • Science had not yet intervened to categorize everything.
British Dictionary definitions for intervened


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 intervened



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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