med·​dle·​some ˈme-dᵊl-səm How to pronounce meddlesome (audio)
: given to meddling
meddlesomeness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for meddlesome

impertinent, officious, meddlesome, intrusive, obtrusive mean given to thrusting oneself into the affairs of others.

impertinent implies exceeding the bounds of propriety in showing interest or curiosity or in offering advice.

resented their impertinent interference

officious implies the offering of services or attentions that are unwelcome or annoying.

officious friends made the job harder

meddlesome stresses an annoying and usually prying interference in others' affairs.

a meddlesome landlord

intrusive implies a tactless or otherwise objectionable thrusting into others' affairs.

tried to be helpful without being intrusive

obtrusive stresses improper or offensive conspicuousness of interfering actions.

expressed an obtrusive concern for his safety

Examples of meddlesome in a Sentence

Her neighbors saw her as a meddlesome nuisance. meddlesome neighbors kept asking the couple when they were going to have children
Recent Examples on the Web My favorite performance of the night was mezzo-soprano Emily Treigle as meddlesome maid Despina, rendered here as a lovably troublesome and vaguely goth pot-stirrer. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 22 June 2024 China resented the United States’ meddlesome global hegemony. Odd Arne Westad, Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2024 The author argues that mass migration from Central America is the result of decades of meddlesome and misguided American policy in the region. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 May 2024 Foundation executives were cautious, wary of being perceived as improperly meddlesome. Alan Blinder, New York Times, 10 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for meddlesome 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1615, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of meddlesome was in 1615

Dictionary Entries Near meddlesome

Cite this Entry

“Meddlesome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


med·​dle·​some ˈmed-ᵊl-səm How to pronounce meddlesome (audio)
: inclined to meddle
meddlesomely adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on meddlesome

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