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

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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 Russian government has portrayed the tech industry as part of a foreign campaign to meddle in domestic affairs. New York Times, 26 May 2021 The New York Times publishes an investigation into Facebook’s aggressive crisis management tactics amid the controversy over Russia’s alleged use of the platform to meddle in the 2016 election. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 2 May 2021 Democrats also used the money as leverage to meddle in state policy-making. The Editors, National Review, 12 May 2021 China considered trying to meddle in the election but did not, the DNI report said, although one agency disagreed with that conclusion. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, 17 Mar. 2021 The Russian Lesin was an aide to Vladimir Putin and then his wealthy media catspaw, founder of the Russia Today propaganda apparatus that was subsequently employed to meddle in U.S. elections. WSJ, 5 Mar. 2021 Seventeen states that Trump carried had backed Texas’ request, while 25 others, including two where Trump was victorious, had filed motions opposing the idea that one state can meddle in another’s elections. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, 14 Dec. 2020 But hackers wouldn’t have to shut down freezers to meddle with the vaccine cold chain. David Z. Morris, Fortune, 18 Dec. 2020 Legal experts deemed that unlikely for a number of reasons, including reluctance to let states meddle in each others’ affairs. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 9 Dec. 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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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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 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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