interfere

verb

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

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
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 China has long denied interfering in Canada’s elections. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 Anyone who wishes to interfere in elections today has a suite of AI technology to choose from to bolster their efforts, and multiple ways to deploy it. Mekela Panditharatne, TIME, 10 Apr. 2024 Johnson appeared on both nights of the two-evening program, wrestling on Saturday—defeating Cody Rhodes—and attempting to interfere in the next night’s main event, where Rhodes faced Roman Reigns. Chris Morris, Fortune, 10 Apr. 2024 Cavanaugh is currently running for county sheriff, and his claim suggests Lewis would somehow interfere in the race. Sasha Hupka, The Arizona Republic, 29 Mar. 2024 Republicans and even some Democrats accused him of inappropriately interfering in another country’s elections. Annie Karni, New York Times, 19 Mar. 2024 Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said Tuesday that the U.S. had no right to interfere in disputes between Manila and Beijing and that China would take the necessary actions to defend its territo=ry. Reuters, NBC News, 19 Mar. 2024 China, which has denied interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, now appears to be building a network of accounts across many platforms to put to use in November. Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, 1 Apr. 2024 Make plans and execute your actions before someone steps in and interferes. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 1 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'interfere.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English enterferen, from Anglo-French (s')entreferir to strike one another, from entre- inter- + ferir to strike, from Latin ferire — more at bore

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near interfere

Cite this Entry

“Interfere.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interfere. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

interfere

verb
in·​ter·​fere ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r How to pronounce interfere (audio)
interfered; interfering
1
: to come in collision or be in opposition : clash
his arrival interfered with our plans
2
: to take part in the concerns of others
don't interfere with our negotiations
3
: to act on one another
interfering light waves
interferer noun

Medical Definition

interfere

intransitive verb
in·​ter·​fere ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r How to pronounce interfere (audio)
interfered; interfering
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

Legal Definition

interfere

intransitive verb
in·​ter·​fere
interfered; interfering
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

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