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

Amid all this, there have been sophisticated attempts from Russia and Iran to interfere with elections and stir up political discord in the U.S. All this would be more than enough to deal with. Barbara Ortutay, The Seattle Times, "Facebook caught in an election-security Catch-22," 30 Oct. 2018 The press conference came almost a week after the president led his first meeting to discuss safeguarding the 2018 elections and punishing Russia for its attempts to interfere. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The US intel chief just said Russian interference is “continuing”," 2 Aug. 2018 Entrants who do not comply with these Official Rules or attempt to interfere with this Sweepstakes in any way will be disqualified. Hartford Courant,, "Official Sweepstakes Rules," 5 July 2018 Trump has a bold agenda for redefining America’s global role, a key part of which is pursuing good relations with Russia, even to the point of denying evidence of Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump and Putin have a rendez-vous in Helsinki.," 27 June 2018 Curbelo's spokesperson said the White House shouldn't interfere with the House's efforts to find an immigration compromise, and that their effort is compatible with Trump's call for action last year. Alex Daugherty, David Smiley And Anita Kumar, miamiherald, "Donald Trump opposes Carlos Curbelo's plan to force an immigration vote in Congress," 25 May 2018 His attempt to interfere in the investigations of Russian election meddling. Doug Donovan,, "Democratic National Committee 'survey' seeks donations, opinions to battle President Trump," 22 May 2018 In a Congressional briefing in February, the heads of the NSA, CIA, FBI, and ODNI all testified that Russia would continue its attempts to interfere in US democracy. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "White House Cuts Critical Cybersecurity Role as Threats Loom," 15 May 2018 Sometimes the bend is slight and doesn't interfere with reasonable penile functions. Dan Savage, Chicago Reader, "‘Help, my penis is bent up at a 90-degree angle!’," 9 May 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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Statistics for interfere

Last Updated

1 Dec 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

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


to enclose within walls

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