in·​ter·​fere | \ ˌin-tər-ˈfir How to pronounce interfere (audio) , ˌin-tə- \
interfered; interfering

Definition of interfere

intransitive verb

1 : to enter into or take a part in the concerns of others
2 : to interpose in a way that hinders or impedes : come into collision or be in opposition
3 : to strike one foot against the opposite foot or ankle in walking or running used especially of horses
4 : to act reciprocally so as to augment, diminish, or otherwise affect one another used of waves

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from interfere

interferer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for interfere

interpose, interfere, intervene, mediate, intercede mean to come or go between. interpose often implies no more than this. interposed herself between him and the door interfere implies hindering. noise interfered with my concentration intervene may imply an occurring in space or time between two things or a stepping in to stop a conflict. quarreled until the manager intervened mediate implies intervening between hostile factions. mediated between the parties intercede implies acting for an offender in begging mercy or forgiveness. interceded on our behalf

Examples of interfere in a Sentence

I tried to offer advice without interfering. a strong resentment of outsiders who attempted to interfere with their traditional ways of doing things
Recent Examples on the Web Twitter also said the company plans to label any tweets that falsely claim a win for any candidate and remove tweets that encourage violence or call for people to interfere with polling places or election results. Georgia Wells, WSJ, "Twitter Slows Down Retweets Ahead of U.S. Election," 9 Oct. 2020 As the head of the U.S. intelligence community until August 2019, Coats repeatedly warned that Russia, China and Iran were working aggressively to interfere in the U.S. election. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Ex-intelligence chief Dan Coats: Congress must create election commission so democracy can survive 2020," 18 Sep. 2020 The ventilators were made in a separate part of the Rawsonville plant so as to not interfere with the production of components, transmission oil pumps, electric battery packs and fuel pumps. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM and Ford end critical care ventilator production," 1 Sep. 2020 Daniel McMahon, 32, pleaded guilty in April to federal charges of cyberstalking and racially motivated threats to interfere with an election, the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia said in a statement Monday. Evan Simko-bednarski, CNN, "'Antifa hunter' who threatened a Charlottesville city council candidate and an autistic child sentenced to 3 years in prison," 1 Sep. 2020 Fiat Chrysler is recalling over 186,000 Ram pickups and is telling owners to take them to dealers because the floor mats can interfere with the gas pedals. CBS News, "More than 186,000 Ram pickups recalled for poorly installed floor mats," 28 Aug. 2020 The actors’ microphones will be positioned on their foreheads to not interfere with the masks. Matthew J. Palm,, "Safety and artistry: All eyes on ‘Dolly’ as masks, sanitizer take the Garden Theatre stage," 18 Aug. 2020 Rewards for Justice program announced a reward of up to $10 million this week for information leading to the identification of cyberactors working for a foreign government to interfere in U.S. elections. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "GOP senators deny laundering foreign disinformation in Russia and Ukraine investigations," 6 Aug. 2020 The school district’s meal delivery program will continue, although the scheduling may now be altered so as not to interfere with lessons and instructional time. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Shaker City Schools roll out remote learning for at least first quarter of 2020-21," 31 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interfere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of interfere

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for interfere

Middle English enterferen, from Anglo-French (s')entreferir to strike one another, from entre- inter- + ferir to strike, from Latin ferire — more at bore

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about interfere

Time Traveler for interfere

Time Traveler

The first known use of interfere was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for interfere

Last Updated

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interfere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for interfere


How to pronounce interfere (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of interfere

: to become involved in the activities and concerns of other people when your involvement is not wanted


in·​ter·​fere | \ ˌin-tər-ˈfir How to pronounce interfere (audio) \
interfered; interfering

Kids Definition of interfere

1 : to get in the way of as an obstacle Hills interfere with the radio signal.
2 : to become involved in the concerns of others when such involvement is not wanted Stop interfering in my private matters.
in·​ter·​fere | \ ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r How to pronounce interfere (audio) \
interfered; interfering

Medical Definition of interfere

1 : to strike one foot against the opposite foot or ankle in walking or running used especially of horses
2 : to act reciprocally so as to augment, diminish, or otherwise affect one another used of waves
3 : to be inconsistent with and disturb the performance of previously learned behavior

Keep scrolling for more

interfered; interfering

Legal Definition of interfere

1 : to act in a way that impedes or obstructs others
2 : to enter into the concerns of others

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on interfere

What made you want to look up interfere? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!