From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Latin supervenīre, present active infinitive of superveniō (come over or upon, overtake), from super (above) + veniō (come).


supervene (third-person singular simple present supervenes, present participle supervening, simple past and past participle supervened)

  1. (intransitive) To follow (something) closely, either as a consequence or in contrast.
    • 1833, R. J. Bertin, translated by Charles W. Chauncy, Treatise on the Diseases of the Heart, and Great Vessels, Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blnachard, page 165:
      The disease was regarded as pneumonia so far advanced that suppuration seemed to have supervened; bleeding, blisters, expectorants, and cathartics diminished the symptoms; the pulse continued frequent, hard, full, but always regular.
    • 1836, Michael Ryan, A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence:
      The taste and digestion are often depraved, anorexia, nausea, inappetence and vomiting supervene, the woman desires innutritious or disgusting food, such as chalk, cinders, putrescent animal food, []
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
      After such leave-takings, especially where something like a revelation takes place, there sometimes supervenes, I'm told, a sort of excitement before the chill and ache of separation sets in.
    • 1960 November, H. P. White, “The evolution of train services on the Southern's Oxted line”, in Trains Illustrated, page 661:
      However, a national financial crisis supervened and work was stopped on the Surrey & Sussex Junction and the Ouse Valley lines, in the latter case never to start again.
  2. To supersede.
  3. To be dependent on an earlier event.
  4. (philosophy, followed by on) To be dependent on something else for existence, truth, or instantiation.
    • 2018, Juhani Yli-Vakkuri, Mark McCullagh, editors, Williamson on Modality, Routledge, →ISBN, page 123:
      For instance, an idiosyncratic necessitist might claim that even if a river were not spatiotemporally located, it would still be ugly or beautiful in ways that do not supervene on anything else.

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]