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

Definition of interfere

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

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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 state is starting to interfere with our most personal decisions that impact our life, our destiny, our health and safety. Anja Rubik, Vogue, "Anja Rubik On Poland’s Frightening Near-Total Ban on Abortion," 25 Nov. 2020 In 2019, officials were forced to defend claims that Russians were unfairly attempting to interfere with the outcome after hundreds of international votes were registered. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, "Hundreds of fraudulent votes were discovered. Then a fat green parrot was elected.," 16 Nov. 2020 The state’s moratorium prevents landlords from issuing a notice of termination without cause or doing anything else to interfere with a tenancy based on a tenant’s inability to pay rent. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Oregon landlords feeling the strain of eviction moratorium: ‘We’re just trying to keep our heads above water’," 12 Nov. 2020 Poll workers take their roles very seriously and with integrity, and don’t ever want to interfere with the process, said Steve Desch, who worked at Madison Baptist Church in Phoenix. Jen Fifield, The Arizona Republic, "Could Arizona election officials have done more to prevent 'Sharpiegate' this election?," 11 Nov. 2020 This week, occasionally-armed Trump supporters have attempted to interfere with vote counts in several cities. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Let’s Take a Moment to Check in With Some Extremely Rich People," 6 Nov. 2020 The election is not over until the absentee, overseas, and provisional votes are counted, no matter how much Trump threatens to and tries to interfere with ballot counting. Natalie Gontcharova,, "Is Joe Biden Going To Win The Election? It Seems Like Yes!," 6 Nov. 2020 Second, there is no evidence that current Republican officeholders in all the as-yet undecided states are acting to interfere with or undermine the ongoing count. Noah Millman, TheWeek, "Don't panic: Democracy is holding up," 4 Nov. 2020 There may be other events or activities or efforts to interfere and undermine confidence in the election. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Election 2020: DHS confident US voters will decide outcome, not foreign adversaries," 3 Nov. 2020

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 2

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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Time Traveler for interfere

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for interfere

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interfere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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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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