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

Smith's complaint alleged that Whitehead attempted to interfere in the city's investigation of Jason Alexander, a prominent city activist involved in the successful Yes on Prop. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Ethics complaint against Scottsdale Councilwoman Solange Whitehead dismissed," 10 Sep. 2019 Reportedly, employees at the lab were aware of Epstein’s involvement and urged not to interfere. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Jeffrey Epstein’s money bought a coverup at the MIT Media Lab," 7 Sep. 2019 Mueller was still investigating whether the Trump campaign had conspired with Russian operatives to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "Conservative provocateur Jacob Wohl charged with financial crime in Riverside County," 4 Sep. 2019 Clark is also charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and misdemeanor charges of interfering with civil rights and unlawful restraint in the July 16, 2018 attack on inmate Chantelle Glass. Adam Ferrise,, "Cuyahoga County Jail officer indicted, accused of trying to extort other officer to testify on his behalf," 29 Aug. 2019 The bank accuses Spyglass of interfering with its property by taking possession of the film, preventing access and destroying the movie's value. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Polaroid': A Near Deal With Netflix Becomes a Legal Horror," 29 Aug. 2019 Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to benefit President Trump. Emily Tillett, CBS News, "Jon Hunstman resigns as Ambassador to Russia amid rumors of run for governor," 6 Aug. 2019 He was arrested on two counts of family-violence assault, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of interfering with an emergency call. Dallas News, "Arlington man showed friend his wife's body in freezer before killing himself, police say," 30 July 2019 Community members and First Amendment advocates denounced McLaughlin’s actions, arguing Burrell’s filming was not interfering with McLaughlin’s duties. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "East Bay man suing city, Vallejo Police Department officer for excessive force," 13 Sep. 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

7 Oct 2019

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 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.


intransitive verb
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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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 fake an opponent out of position

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