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

Other Words from meddle

meddler \ ˈmed-​lər How to pronounce meddle (audio) , ˈme-​dᵊl-​ər How to pronounce meddle (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 The pope has been hesitant to directly meddle in politics since the beginning of his papacy — afraid to devolve the Holy See into a normal, secular world power. Fox News, 13 July 2022 Plus Democrats meddle in GOP primaries in Illinois and Colorado, and the Supreme Court's opinion upholding a football coach's right to pray on the field could have major implications for church and state. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 28 June 2022 Freedom of information in the West has allowed the Kremlin to meddle in elections. David Kamenetzky And Leopoldo López, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2022 But those were primarily independent voters who became Republicans rather than Democrats hoping to meddle in the outcome, according to an analysis from Princeton University. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 Elsewhere on the campaign trail: Colorado Senate: Democratic Colorado, the group that’s trying to meddle in the state’s Republican primary, is booking more advertising time, per AdImpact, to the tune of about $1 million. Mark Murray, NBC News, 14 June 2022 Descano has accused Miyares of trying to meddle in local affairs and undermine him and other reform-minded prosecutors in northern Virginia. Matthew Barakat, USA TODAY, 23 Apr. 2022 Both parties have been known to meddle in California's Top 2 primaries, where all candidates compete on the same ballot and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, 7 June 2022 Around that time, a Russian disinformation campaign using fake social media accounts sought to exacerbate political divisions in Sudan — a technique similar to the one used by the Internet Research Agency to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election. New York Times, 5 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for meddle


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on meddle

Nglish: Translation of meddle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meddle for Arabic Speakers


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