in·​ter·​fere | \ ˌin-tər-ˈfir How to pronounce interfere (audio) , 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 On a jump ball from Morgan with 13 seconds left, Johnson caught it in the end zone for the winning touchdown despite being interfered with by Eagles cornerback Monquavion Brimson. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers receiver Tyler Johnson shines in 35-32 win over Georgia Southern," 14 Sep. 2019 Those who closed the property’s gate or interfered with authorities’ search were detained. Los Angeles Times, "‘This ain’t “Sons of Anarchy” ': Savage Assassins say officers trashed their party," 12 Sep. 2019 Ida’s supporters suggest that the incessant moving and her demanding day jobs interfered with her creative work—but Georgia also had day jobs in the hinterlands and continued to produce. Roxana Robinson, The New Yorker, "The Rivalry Between Georgia O’Keeffe and Her Sister Ida," 4 Sep. 2019 Ezekiel Myrie, 22, of Vineland Terrace was charged with possession of large-capacity magazines, criminal possession of a pistol/revolver, carrying a pistol without a permit, possession of marijuana and interfering with police. Christine Dempsey,, "Hartford police arrest armed man after chase, struggle," 28 Aug. 2019 He was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, interfering with police, 50 counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and 22 counts of risk of injury to a minor, according to reports. Fox News, "Connecticut man allegedly tested out guns by shooting into park where kids were playing," 26 Aug. 2019 Numerous studies have found that the pesticide disrupts the endocrine system in lab animals, interfering with reproduction. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Illegal marijuana growers are poisoning national forests with banned pesticides," 23 Aug. 2019 Your best bet is to get out to a place that has relatively little extra light interfering with the night sky. Currie Engel, Time, "The Peak of the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Is Coming. Here's How to Watch It," 26 July 2019 Hunter was convicted of felony interfering with a contract. Sharon Coolidge,, "Tracie Hunter supporters protest in Judge Patrick Dinkelacker's West Side neighborhood," 22 July 2019

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

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for interfere

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

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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

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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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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