med·​dle ˈme-dᵊl How to pronounce meddle (audio)
meddled; meddling
ˈme-dᵊl-iŋ How to pronounce meddle (audio)

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 affairsG. B. Shaw

Examples of meddle in a Sentence

please stop meddling in your sister's marriage, even though you mean well
Recent Examples on the Web Putin interview with Tucker Carlson shows Kremlin outreach to Trump’s GOP Putin at one point warned the West sternly against sending its own troops to fight in Ukraine, and then wondered why the United States was meddling in the conflict rather than attending to its own problems. Francesca Ebel, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2024 And as with any other states’ rights, Congress should not meddle at all. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 5 Feb. 2024 But many feel that hypnotists shouldn’t meddle with people’s psyches at all. Emily Latimer, Longreads, 25 Jan. 2024 Those concerns parallel growing outside calls for a more urgent American intervention in Sudan, including a stronger stance toward Emirati meddling that critics call disastrous. Declan Walsh, New York Times, 19 Jan. 2024 Still, Jardin approaches this story rather as the smirking, meddling Forbes seemingly enters the party: as an agent of chaos, out to mix and mess things up for the sheer hell of it. Guy Lodge, Variety, 21 Jan. 2024 Hezbollah believes that Washington and Tel Aviv are meddling in Lebanon, and Hamas, the Houthis, and Iraq’s Shia militias believe the same to be true in their territories. Narges Bajoghli, Foreign Affairs, 17 Jan. 2024 King filed a separate motion in October, alleging Cher was keeping her son’s whereabouts a secret and meddling with his health treatment. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2024 In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar, accusing its government of supporting Islamic extremism and terrorism and meddling in their internal affairs. Tariq Panja, New York Times, 3 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'meddle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near meddle

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


med·​dle ˈmed-ᵊl How to pronounce meddle (audio)
meddled; meddling ˈmed-liŋ How to pronounce meddle (audio)
: to interest oneself in what is not one's concern
meddle in another's business
ˈmed-lər How to pronounce meddle (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on meddle

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