interfere

verb

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

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
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

Example Sentences

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 Corrosion can interfere with the quick release function over time, so keep the chimney dry to extend its life. Melissa Mayer, Field & Stream, 30 Jan. 2023 Excessive sunlight or bright lights can interfere with healing. Dagny Zhu, Verywell Health, 26 Jan. 2023 And alcohol can interfere with the process of muscle protein synthesis. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, 26 Jan. 2023 Some supplements interfere with certain medications. Elizabeth Millard, Time, 18 Jan. 2023 Vitamin K supplements can interfere with certain medications, including blood thinners, antibiotics, antacids, and some cancer medications, so consult your physician before starting a vitamin K supplement. Dallas News, 12 Jan. 2023 And digital addiction doesn't just interfere with our relationships. Bernard Marr, Forbes, 11 Jan. 2023 The negative pion can interfere with other negative pions. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 11 Jan. 2023 Medical conditions like sleep apnea can interfere with some people’s dream sleep, while others may notice nightmares. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 6 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near interfere

Cite this Entry

“Interfere.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interfere. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

interfere

verb
in·​ter·​fere ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r How to pronounce interfere (audio)
interfered; interfering
1
: to come in collision or be in opposition : clash
his arrival interfered with our plans
2
: to take part in the concerns of others
don't interfere with our negotiations
3
: to act on one another
interfering light waves
interferer noun

Medical Definition

interfere

intransitive verb
in·​ter·​fere ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r How to pronounce interfere (audio)
interfered; interfering
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

Legal Definition

interfere

intransitive verb
in·​ter·​fere
interfered; interfering
1
: to act in a way that impedes or obstructs others
2
: to enter into the concerns of others

More from Merriam-Webster on interfere

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