med·​dle | \ˈme-dᵊl \
meddled; meddling\ˈmed-​liŋ, ˈme-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of meddle 

intransitive verb

: to interest oneself in what is not one's concern : interfere without right or propriety (see propriety sense 3) I never meddle in other people's private affairs— G. B. Shaw

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Other Words from meddle

meddler \ˈmed-​lər, ˈme-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for meddle

meddle, interfere, and tamper mean to get involved with something that is someone else's business. meddle is used for intruding in an inconsiderate and annoying fashion. Don't meddle in her personal life. interfere is used for getting in the way of or disturbing someone or something whether intentionally or not. I tried to give advice without interfering. tamper is used for intruding or experimenting in a way that is wrong or uncalled-for and likely to be harmful. Someone had tampered with the lock.

Examples of meddle in a Sentence

please stop meddling in your sister's marriage, even though you mean well

Recent Examples on the Web

But if a rogue scientist tinkering quietly in a lab can smash through norms and meddle with the human genome to feed his own ego or scientific curiosity, the worry is that many more dangerous applications of CRISPR could be in store. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Is the CRISPR baby controversy the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing?," 30 Nov. 2018 The move comes as Facebook tries to shake off its reputation as a hotbed for misinformation and elections-meddling and rather a place for communities and people to come together and stay informed. Barbara Ortutay, The Seattle Times, "With an eye on past problems, Facebook expands local feature," 28 Nov. 2018 One White House official described the deputy national security adviser as overly attentive to rank and prone to meddling in other officials’ communications. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "National Security Aide Is Out After Feud With First Lady," 15 Nov. 2018 In the days since the summit, Trump has faced criticism from officials on both sides of the political aisle over his handling of Putin and Russia, which intelligence officials say meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Fox News, "Intel leader Coats says he intended no disrespect to Trump," 2 Oct. 2018 In a court filing this past Tuesday, Mueller’s office asserted that Russian intelligence agencies may still be meddling in the current and upcoming midterm elections. Abigail Simon, Time, "President Trump Said the Inspector General's Report Proves Bias Against Him. It Does Not," 15 June 2018 And for the more subtle decorators, there a slew of super-cute displays that are much more low-key. Check out these meddling mice, a simple trick or treat text, or this tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "These Halloween Stair Decals Will Instantly Transform Your Home Into a Haunted House," 7 Oct. 2018 Vice may also be primed to meddle with the relatively recent narrative of a kindly W. off painting on his ranch or the cuddly figure slipping Michelle Obama candies. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "The New Vice Trailer Just Might Cure Your Bush Administration Nostalgia," 3 Oct. 2018 The attorney general and others then have their own 45 days to determine if that evidence clearly shows an attempt to meddle. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump just signed a measure to punish foreigners for interfering in US elections," 12 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meddle.' 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 meddle

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for meddle

Middle English medlen, from Anglo-French mesler, medler, from Vulgar Latin *misculare, from Latin miscēre to mix — more at mix

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Statistics for meddle

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for meddle

The first known use of meddle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for meddle



English Language Learners Definition of meddle

: to become involved in the activities and concerns of other people when your involvement is not wanted

: to change or handle something in a way that is unwanted or harmful


med·​dle | \ˈme-dᵊl \
meddled; meddling

Kids Definition of meddle

: to be overly involved in someone else's business

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More from Merriam-Webster on meddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with meddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for meddle

Spanish Central: Translation of meddle

Nglish: Translation of meddle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meddle for Arabic Speakers

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