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 But salts didn't interfere with all parts of it evenly. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Europa probably glows in the dark, and that may tell us what’s in it," 10 Nov. 2020 But in contrast with Russia, Evanina did not outline any efforts to interfere in the election outside of statements critical of the Trump administration on various issues. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Putin won't congratulate Biden before 'official results' and 'legal procedures' are completed," 9 Nov. 2020 Providing the treatment must not interfere with or compromise the ongoing vaccine approval process. David Oshinsky, STAT, "Make pre-approval Covid-19 vaccines available through expanded access, not an EUA," 9 Nov. 2020 Including small amounts of alcohol may be healthful, but even at low levels, alcohol may interfere with sleep, cloud judgment, contribute to weight gain and negatively interact with some medications. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "How to cope with stress eating through the 2020 election," 6 Nov. 2020 An ongoing legal challenge filed on behalf of Osceola County commissioners could interfere with the Split Oak amendment, which aimed to prevent Orange County commissioners from altering rules protecting the public forest from development. Stephen Hudak,, "Orange voters approve charter changes for clean water, Split Oak," 3 Nov. 2020 Russia has also dismissed accusations by U.S. intelligence agencies of trying to interfere with this year's election too. NBC News, "Putin rejects Trump's criticism of Hunter Biden's business," 26 Oct. 2020 Just a day ago, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced that Iran and Russia were trying to interfere in the U.S. election and had obtained some voter registration information. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "What to watch for in the presidential debate tonight," 22 Oct. 2020 None of the charges involved the current U.S. presidential campaign, although the FBI and other agencies say Russia continues trying to interfere in U.S. politics. Chris Strohm,, "U.S. Charges Six Russian Agents for Hacking That Cost Billions," 19 Oct. 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

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interfere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 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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Comments on interfere

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