Definition of intervene in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪntəˈviːn/


[no object]
1Take part in something so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events: he acted outside his authority when he intervened in the dispute [with infinitive]: their forces intervened to halt the attack
More example sentences
  • Known paedophiles as well as those wrongly suspected of the crime have been attacked, culminating in an assault in Hampshire which could have spun out of control had the police not intervened in force.
  • US forces intervened in the mid-1960s to prop up the stooge government of South Vietnam, against the North.
  • For example, in 1845, as in 1806-07, British forces intervened in the River Plate.
intercede, involve oneself, get involved, interpose oneself, insinuate oneself, step in, cut in;
mediate, arbitrate, conciliate, negotiate, act as peacemaker, act as an intermediary;
interfere, intrude
1.1(Of an event or circumstance) occur as a delay or obstacle to something being done: Christmas intervened and the investigation was suspended
More example sentences
  • He had been going to make the trip, but circumstances intervened.
  • Then some external circumstance intervenes - someone close to us dies or we ourselves receive a real scare.
  • I don't know if you can understand this, but there were many times in my husband's life when circumstances intervened and helped him.
occur, happen, take place, arise, crop up, materialize, come about;
result, ensue, follow, supervene
literary come to pass, befall, betide
archaic hap
1.2Interrupt verbally: [with direct speech]: ‘It’s true!’ he intervened
More example sentences
  • My friend then intervened with the verbal equivalent of a good slap across the face by saying things like pull yourself together, man! and for God-sake, shut up!
1.3 Law Become involved in a lawsuit as a third party.
Example sentences
  • It is not easy for third parties to intervene in bilateral contentious litigation.
  • But under section 78A of the Judiciary Act the Attorney-General intervenes upon behalf of the Commonwealth.
  • If decisions are taken which are inconsistent with or disregard those terms the courts can intervene and require the decisions to be taken again in very much the same way as they intervene on judicial review.
2 (usually as adjective intervening) Occur in the time between events: to occupy the intervening months she took a job in a hospital
More example sentences
  • And, world class sportspersons they might be, but I bet none of them spent time keeping fit during these six intervening months.
  • The low-probability intervening event did eliminate negative priming, but did so by slowing performance in the baseline condition relative to all other conditions.
  • It is simply a repugnance on the part of any lawyer to the idea that one can simply take a period in gross at any point and apply it many, many years later to create a right which might be quite inconsistent with intervening events.
2.1Be situated between things: they heard the sound of distant gunfire, muffled by the intervening trees
More example sentences
  • Down the hall, separated by a cordon sanitaire of three intervening rooms, yet another lawyer was ploughing through Butler's work, also using pen and paper.
  • Our destination is at 900 ft which doesn't sound much of a climb, but there are two intervening valleys, both very much worth the effort.
  • The question remains, why would males outnumber females in northern Mexico and southern Central America, but be outnumbered by females in intervening areas?



Pronunciation: /ɪntəˈviːnə/
Example sentences
  • Putting this point in terms of freedom, we may say that a Frankfurt-type counterfactual intervener can deprive an agent of his freedom to carry out a given want or intention, but he cannot deprive him of his freedom to form it.
  • Sometimes this makes an intervener complicit in repression.
  • Such a commitment requires interveners to take casualty risks to the extent needed to avoid killing large numbers of civilians and damaging their social infrastructure.




Example sentences
  • All the proceeds from the bazaar will go to our staff and intervenors.
  • Jurors then hear evidence from experts and various intervenors.
  • The National Association of Women and the Law was an intervenor arguing that this regulation exacerbates women's existing inequality, poverty and vulnerability to sexual and racial violence and discrimination.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'come in as an extraneous factor or thing'): from Latin intervenire, from inter- 'between' + venire 'come'.

Words that rhyme with intervene

Aberdeen, Amin, aquamarine, baleen, bean, been, beguine, Benin, between, canteen, careen, Claudine, clean, contravene, convene, cuisine, dean, Dene, e'en, eighteen, fascine, fedayeen, fifteen, figurine, foreseen, fourteen, Francine, gean, gene, glean, gombeen, green, Greene, Halloween, Janine, Jean, Jeannine, Jolene, Kean, keen, Keene, Ladin, langoustine, latrine, lean, limousine, machine, Maclean, magazine, Malines, margarine, marine, Mascarene, Massine, Maxine, mean, Medellín, mesne, mien, Moline, moreen, mujahedin, Nadine, nankeen, Nazarene, Nene, nineteen, nougatine, obscene, palanquin, peen, poteen, preen, quean, Rabin, Racine, ramin, ravine, routine, Sabine, saltine, sardine, sarin, sateen, scene, screen, seen, serene, seventeen, shagreen, shebeen, sheen, sixteen, spleen, spring-clean, squireen, Steen, submarine, supervene, tambourine, tangerine, teen, terrine, thirteen, transmarine, treen, tureen, Tyrrhene, ultramarine, umpteen, velveteen, wean, ween, Wheen, yean

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: inter|vene

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