Invention vs intervention

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Invention and intervention are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. We will examine the definitions of invention and intervention, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

An invention is a device, process or other item that has been created by someone. An invention is unique in some way, and has not been created by anyone previously. Invention may also refer to the process of creating such an item. The word invention is derived from the Latin word invenire, which means to discover.

An intervention is the process of interrupting a flow of events in order to change the outcome. An intervention may be used to simply delay a flow of events, or it may completely alter the direction of the flow of events. The word intervention is also used to mean an event in which the friends and family of a person who is abusing drugs or alcohol is confronted with his actions, and urged to seek help or enter rehab. The word intervention is derived from the Latin word intervenire which means come between.


His first great invention in 1887 was an alternating current [AC] motor which introduced the practice of transmitting power by using two- or three-phase current.  (Forbes Magazine)

Jianna first participated in the invention program as a fifth grader with her award-winning Magic Hairband and last year also was recognized for an earlier version of the Red Dye 40 project. (The Dayton Daily News)

Drugs developed thus far, have not been able to modify the course of the disease; however, research that focuses on early intervention may be one of the best methods for halting Alzheimer’s progression. (The Miami Herald)

Michigan is the only state in the nation that failed to meet federal special education requirements and requires intervention, according to a U.S. Department of Education evaluation. (The Detroit News)