from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To insert or introduce between parts.
  • intransitive verb To place (oneself) between others or things.
  • intransitive verb To introduce or interject (a comment, for example) during discourse or a conversation. synonym: introduce.
  • intransitive verb To exert (influence or authority) in order to interfere or intervene.
  • intransitive verb To come between things; assume an intervening position.
  • intransitive verb To come between the parties in a dispute; intervene.
  • intransitive verb To insert a remark, question, or argument.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Interposal; interposition.
  • In chess, to put (a piece) between the checked king and the checking piece.
  • To place between; cause to intervene: as, to interpose an opaque body between a light and the eye.
  • To place between or among; intrude; present as an obstruction, interruption, or inconvenience, or for succor, relief, or the adjustment of differences: as, the emperor interposed his aid or services to reconcile the contending parties.
  • To come between other things; assume an intervening position or relation; stand in the way.
  • To step in between parties at variance; interfere; mediate: as, the prince interposed and made peace.
  • To put in or make a remark by way of interruption.
  • Synonyms Interpose, Interfere, Intermeddle, Intervene. To intermeddle is both unwelcome and impertinent. To interfere is unwelcome to the one interfered with, and often but not necessarily improper: as, the court interfered to prevent further injustice. In this sentence interposed would have been a very proper word to express the benevolence and helpfulness of the action of the court, while interfere suggests the checking of what was going on and the balking of selfish plans. Interpose in its personal application is generally used in a good sense. Interfere may be used of a person or of a thing; intermeddle only of a person or the act of a person. Intervene is used only of things literally or figuratively coming between, and hence without either praise or blame: as, several weeks intervened; an intervening piece of woods. A piece of woods may interfere with a view; we must interfere in a quarrel when life is threatened. See intrude.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Interposition.
  • intransitive verb To be or come between.
  • intransitive verb To step in between parties at variance; to mediate.
  • intransitive verb To utter a sentiment by way of interruption.
  • transitive verb To place between.
  • transitive verb To thrust; to intrude; to put between, either for aid or for troubling.
  • transitive verb To introduce or inject between the parts of a conversation or argument.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To insert something (or oneself) between other things.
  • verb transitive To interrupt a conversation by introducing a different subject or making a comment.
  • verb intransitive To be inserted between parts or things.
  • verb intransitive To intervene in a dispute, or in a conversation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb to insert between other elements
  • verb get involved, so as to alter or hinder an action, or through force or threat of force
  • verb introduce
  • verb be or come between


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Old French interposer, to intervene, alteration (influenced by poser, to put, place) of Latin interpōnere, to put between : inter-, inter- + pōnere, to put; see apo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French interposer, modification (influenced by poser to put, place), from Latin interpōnō, from inter ("between") + pōnō ("I place, put").


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  • I hope my friends will never again interpose in my concerns of that nature.

    The Coquette, or, The History of Eliza Wharton: A Novel Founded on Fact 1797

  • It was no stronger than other words and phrases, yet, thirty years later, the words "interpose" and "protest" were passed by as too feeble, and "nullification" adopted as the proper term for open resistance, But that Kentucky did not mean forcible resistance is proved by her accompanying statement that she would bow to the laws of the Union because she was a party to the Federal compact.

    The United States of America, Part 1 Edwin Erle Sparks 1892

  • Nullification is not secession as in the case of the Civil War, but there is a history of nullification that includes the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions against the Alien and Sedition Acts. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both argued that the States are the ultimate interpreters of the Constitution, arguing that the States could "interpose" themselves to protect their citizens from unconstitutional national laws.

    ChronWatch - Articles Alan Caruba 2010

  • Jefferson and his ally James Madison wrote sets of resolutions duly passed by the legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky, which called upon the state governments to resist and, as Madison put it, "interpose" themselves between the federal government and the citizenry.

    The New Republic - All Feed Sean Wilentz 2010

  • "interpose," in the words of Madison, or to "nullify" the Federal law, as Jefferson phrased it.

    The Wars Between England and America T. C. Smith

  • "interpose" Alabama's government against the federal government. - News 2010

  • "interpose" its sovereignty between the Federal Government and the state's citizens.

    Firedoglake 2009

  • "interpose" its sovereignty between the Federal Government and the state's citizens.

    Firedoglake 2009

  • The courts of original jurisdiction should regularly dispose of all questions which arise before them; and the court of review, in its appellate jurisdiction, should not interpose until the decision has been pronounced by the court below.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » “A Sickly Brood of Judicial Fancies” 2010

  • James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, articulated the milder doctrine of Interposition, in the Virginia Resolution, declaring that the states “have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining tothem.”

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The Democratic Strategist misdescribes some legal issues 2010


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