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

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.

Examples of meddle in a Sentence

please stop meddling in your sister's marriage, even though you mean well
Recent Examples on the Web Scooby-Doo and those meddling kids have been solving mysteries for 50 years. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "‘Scooby-Doo’ wasn’t just another cartoon. It was a reaction to the political turmoil at the time," 13 Sep. 2019 The diamond-miner is controlled by the Russian state, viewed with suspicion in many countries for its annexation of Crimea, its backing of Bashar al-Assad’s murderous regime in Syria and election-meddling in America. The Economist, "Alrosa is betting on natural diamonds," 12 Sep. 2019 The court upheld a jury verdict two years ago in Los Angeles federal court that found Gail Steinbeck and her husband meddled with Kaffaga’s plans as executor of the estate to profit off the Nobel Prize-winning author’s works. Washington Post, "Court cuts jury award, warns Steinbeck kin to end litigation," 11 Sep. 2019 But Sweet likened the DSCC’s meddling in her campaign to efforts made behind the scenes by the Democratic National Committee to bolster Hillary Clinton for president over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries, moves that bitterly split the party. Los Angeles Times, "Democratic campaign arm accused of trying to hinder progressive candidates in key Senate primaries," 4 Sep. 2019 Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation determined that the Russian government coordinated a massive cyber campaign to meddle in the 2016 election and support the Trump campaign. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "McConnell says "Moscow Mitch" nickname is "modern-day McCarthyism"," 4 Sep. 2019 In effect, the independent NASA official asked Congress to kindly not meddle in decisions that concern actual rocket science. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Iranian launch failure, SpaceX rideshare business booming," 30 Aug. 2019 Under scrutiny from regulators since Russia used social media platforms to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook has been rolling out ad transparency tools country by country since last year. NBC News, "Facebook tightens rules for U.S. political advertisers ahead of 2020 election," 28 Aug. 2019 Bolsonaro calls it meddling by people who should improve the environment in their own countries. Marcelo De Souza, Twin Cities, "The Amazon fires: What’s causing them and what the impacts could be," 24 Aug. 2019

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

25 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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

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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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