med·​dle | \ ˈme-dᵊl How to pronounce meddle (audio) \
meddled; meddling\ ˈmed-​liŋ , ˈme-​dᵊl-​iŋ How to pronounce meddling (audio) \

Definition of meddle

intransitive verb

: to interest oneself in what is not one's concern : interfere without right or propriety (see propriety sense 1) I never meddle in other people's private affairs— G. B. Shaw

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Other Words from meddle

meddler \ ˈmed-​lər How to pronounce meddler (audio) , ˈme-​dᵊl-​ər How to pronounce meddler (audio) \ noun

Examples of meddle in a Sentence

please stop meddling in your sister's marriage, even though you mean well
Recent Examples on the Web Morales, who often accused the U.S. of covertly meddling in Bolivia, expelled the American Ambassador and the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2008, and the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2013. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "The Fall of Evo Morales," 16 Mar. 2020 Calls for blocking access to Facebook and Twitter have continued as legislators and politicians accuse the two companies of meddling in Russia's affairs by allowing anti-Kremlin content to be published. Vladimir Kozlov, Billboard, "Apple, Facebook Among Tech Giants Facing Harsh Regulatory Environment in Russia in 2020," 30 Dec. 2019 Not even Dancing with the Stars' votes are safe from meddling. Marianne Garvey, CNN, "'Dancing With the Stars' shock elimination leaves fans shook," 22 Oct. 2019 Some researchers express hope that this rising aggressiveness may thwart — or at least deter — some foreign-based influence operations from meddling in future U.S. elections. Washington Post, "It’s not just the Russians anymore as Iranians and others turn up disinformation efforts ahead of 2020 vote," 25 July 2019 This area is also the trickiest: While most democracies bar foreign governments from meddling in elections, Facebook sees internal operators as much harder to crack down on because of the free speech issues involved., "Facebook's battle against fake news reaches Mexico ahead of July 1 election," 23 June 2018 Many of the Obama administration officials have bemoaned the fact that President Obama didn't do enough to stop the Russians from meddling in the campaign. Fox News, "Is it time for Mueller to wrap up his investigation?," 3 June 2018 The guild was founded in the 1930s to raise wages and keep right-wing owners from meddling with the stories written by their more left-wing reporters. Ben Smith, New York Times, "How a New Breed of Union Activists Is Changing the Rules (and Newsrooms)," 3 May 2020 Morgan claimed he was punished by Chief Steve Conrad — a close friend of Brewer — for allegedly meddling in the KSP’s case. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "She says a Kentucky state trooper framed her for murder. Now a jury will hear her lawsuit," 9 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for meddle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for meddle

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for meddle


How to pronounce meddle (audio)

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 How to pronounce meddle (audio) \
meddled; meddling

Kids Definition of meddle

: to be overly involved in someone else's business

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on meddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for meddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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