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verb (used without object), in·ter·vened, in·ter·ven·ing.
  1. to come between disputing people, groups, etc.; intercede; mediate.
  2. to occur or be between two things.
  3. to occur or happen between other events or periods: Nothing important intervened between the meetings.
  4. (of things) to occur incidentally so as to modify or hinder: We enjoyed the picnic until a thunderstorm intervened.
  5. to interfere with force or a threat of force: to intervene in the affairs of another country.
  6. Law. to interpose and become a party to a suit pending between other parties.
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Origin of intervene

1580–90; < Latin intervenīre to come between, equivalent to inter- inter- + venīre to come; see convene
Related formsre·in·ter·vene, verb (used without object), re·in·ter·vened, re·in·ter·ven·ing.un·in·ter·ven·ing, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for intervening


verb (intr)
  1. (often foll by in) to take a decisive or intrusive role (in) in order to modify or determine events or their outcome
  2. (foll by in or between) to come or be (among or between)
  3. (of a period of time) to occur between events or points in time
  4. (of an event) to disturb or hinder a course of action
  5. economics to take action to affect the market forces of an economy, esp to maintain the stability of a currency
  6. law to interpose and become a party to a legal action between others, esp in order to protect one's interests
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Derived Formsintervener or 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

Word Origin and History for intervening



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper