July 28, 2016
intercede (verb)
\in-ter-SEED\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to act as a go-between for hostile parties2 : to plead in behalf of another
How do you use it?
When the camp counselor accused Sonia of lying, several of her fellow campers interceded on her behalf, and explained that there had been a misunderstanding.
Are you a word wiz?

At the most basic level, "intercede" has to do with coming or going between. Which of the following words do you think has this same core meaning?

Both "intercede" and "mediate" can be used to talk about acting as a go-between for hostile parties. But while "mediate" often implies working with opposing sides in an argument in order to bring about an agreement, "intercede" is usually used to talk about someone acting for an offender (or an accused offender) in begging mercy or forgiveness. Both words come from Latin and their Latin roots share some meaning in common, too. "Intercede" comes from "intercedere," meaning "to go between," while "mediate" comes from "mediare," meaning "to be in the middle." The pair of words also entered English around the same time, in the late 1500s.
Archive RSS Feed