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 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, "Russia, Iran engaged in covert influence campaigns to sway 2020 presidential election, US intelligence report says," 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, "Jan. 6 and D.C.’s Political Death Inquests," 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, "National lawyers group seeks sanctions against Texas AG Ken Paxton, colleagues who sued to undo Biden’s win," 14 Dec. 2020 But hackers wouldn’t have to shut down freezers to meddle with the vaccine cold chain. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "How hackers could undermine a successful vaccine rollout," 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, "Trump says he’ll join Texas lawsuit asking Supreme Court to block 62 Biden electors from four states," 9 Dec. 2020 In North Carolina, a key 2020 presidential battleground, a state law enacted in 2001 actually spells out how the state would avoid another Bush vs. Gore scenario and ensure that Congress doesn’t meddle with its results. Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times, "What if a state can’t agree which presidential candidate won?," 27 Oct. 2020 Irsay typically says that his job isn’t to meddle, but to work with Reich and general manager Chris Ballard on the franchise’s biggest decisions. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Frank Reich 'took to heart' long conversation with Colts owner Jim Irsay after Jaguars loss," 23 Nov. 2020 People affiliated with the French military used fake Facebook accounts to meddle in African politics and also tangled with Russian fake networks in an online battle for political influence in several nations, the company announced Tuesday. Craig Timberg, Washington Post, "People affiliated with French military used Facebook to meddle in Africa," 15 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

21 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 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.

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