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

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 Open year-round, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless church services interfere. Diane Daniel, Washington Post, 24 June 2022 Writing in The74, Lynne Munson—who led the creation of a curriculum called Eureka Math and has a dyslexic child—recently explained how dyslexia can interfere with math performance. Natalie Wexler, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Citing prior holdings on similar records, the court said releasing the governor’s correspondence with the commission would interfere with the ability of government officials to speak frankly. Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2022 The 29-year-old called for a referee, who asked Thomas if the drain would interfere with his swing. Riley Hamel, USA TODAY, 19 June 2022 That leaves an awful lot of time for a golfer’s mind to wander and interfere with the attentional demands of hitting successful shots. Paul Christianson, WSJ, 15 June 2022 Tweet Dish has been complaining about the unauthorized use since May over concerns Starlink will interfere with its own satellite TV system. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 13 June 2022 The timing of the turtles' nesting is triggered in part by light from the Moon, which means that artificial lighting can interfere with the animals' reproduction. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 13 June 2022 How to safely take an ice bath Cold water immersion can shock the system, cause muscle spasms, and interfere with circulation, so submerging yourself in it may not be the right choice for everyone. Annaliese Griffin, Fortune, 11 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Interfere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for interfere


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on interfere

Nglish: Translation of interfere for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of interfere for Arabic Speakers


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