in·ter·fere | \ˌin-tər-ˈfir, ˌin-tə-\
interfered; interfering

Definition of interfere 

intransitive verb

1 : to interpose in a way that hinders or impedes : come into collision or be in opposition

2 : to strike one foot against the opposite foot or ankle in walking or running used especially of horses

3 : to enter into or take a part in the concerns of others

4 : to act reciprocally so as to augment, diminish, or otherwise affect one another used of waves

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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

The transactions were detailed in an indictment Friday from the Justice Department, in which prosecutors accused 12 Russian operatives of interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign through a sophisticated hacking scheme., "How Russian spies hid behind bitcoin in hacking campaign," 14 July 2018 Maduro made the announcement at his confirmation ceremony in Caracas, accusing the men of interfering in the election and giving them 48 hours to leave Venezuela. Bard Wilkinson, CNN, "US expels Venezuelan diplomats as election row escalates," 23 May 2018 He's accused of interfering with a flight crew member and indecent exposure, the newspaper noted. Josh Hafner, USA TODAY, "Man urinated on seat mid-flight after touching female passenger without consent, FBI says," 22 May 2018 In May, Senate Intelligence Committee leaders backed the 2017 intel community report that formally accused Russia of trying to interfere in the election to the Trump campaign's benefit. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Findings that Russia meddled to help Trump beat Clinton were 'accurate and on point': Senate intel panel," 3 July 2018 Gaetz told Democrats on the panel who charged that Republicans were trying to interfere in Mueller’s probe. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Seattle Times, "GOP sharpens focus on Justice Department as election looms," 26 June 2018 State and county officials have yet to decide how to spend Indiana’s share of $380 million made available to states this year after the federal government detailed the way Russia tried to interfere with the 2016 election. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana may need millions of dollars to prevent election hacking by Russia and others," 25 June 2018 Mueller has reportedly been looking at whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to interfere with investigations into Russian contacts with his campaign. Brian Bennett, Time, "Trump Will Agree to Interview If Mueller Winds Down Investigation," 8 June 2018 Both were taken into custody for interfering with the duties of a police officer, according to the officials. Ryan Tarinelli, The Seattle Times, "Mom says Texas officer choked boy before aiming gun at kids," 9 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of interfere

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Phrases Related to interfere

interfere with

Statistics for interfere

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for interfere

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

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More Definitions for interfere



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 \
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.


intransitive verb
in·ter·fere | \ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r \
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

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intransitive verb
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

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Comments on interfere

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lying above or upon

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