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

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 unintended consequences of the House Democrats’ anti-Trump derangement, in both infantilizing congressional oversight and foolishly pleading with the federal courts to meddle in it, are becoming manifest. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Justice Department Refuses to Testify before Nadler’s Judiciary Committee," 23 Sep. 2020 First, there were revelations that Trump loyalists inside the department, including Michael R. Caputo, its top spokesman, tried to meddle with the C.D.C.’s weekly scientific reports. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, "Trump May Reject Tougher F.D.A. Vaccine Standards, Calling Them ‘Political’," 23 Sep. 2020 To meddle with, delay or politicize these reports would be a form of scientific blasphemy as well as a breach of public trust that could undermine the nation’s efforts to fight the coronavirus. Richard E. Besser, Scientific American, "We Can't Allow the CDC to Be Tainted by Politics," 15 Sep. 2020 Free from jobs, husbands and kids, the four women -- who lead very different lives -- enjoy martinis, catch up and meddle in each other’s lives the way good friends do. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Learn the ins and outs of planting trees and tap into your family roots: Valley Views," 7 Sep. 2020 Back in 2016, Russian operatives were accused of using Facebook to meddle in the presidential election. CBS News, "Mark Zuckerberg on how Facebook will combat election interference," 3 Sep. 2020 Facebook has removed 12 networks with ties to the IRA since 2017, the company wrote in a blog post, though any effort by the group to meddle in a U.S. election raises alarms given Facebook’s history. Kurt Wagner, Fortune, "Acting on FBI tip, Facebook deletes small network of Russian accounts," 1 Sep. 2020 This is the first publicly available evidence that people connected to the Russian troll group, which is known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA), are using unwitting Americans in an attempt to meddle with the 2020 election and stir discord. Donie O'sullivan, CNN, "As election looms, Russian trolls are targeting Americans again, Facebook says," 1 Sep. 2020 Mr Putin has told Western powers not to meddle in his backyard. The Economist, "Hanging on, for now Alexander Lukashenko is trying to beat protesters into submission," 22 Aug. 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

28 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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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

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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