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

Example Sentences

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 The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield — the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 4 Jan. 2022 But because the series has jettisoned many of its earlier components — its Shakespearean pretensions, meddlesome relatives and, crucially, Thor’s godly grandeur — the new movie more or less plays like a rescue mission with jokes, tears and smackdowns. New York Times, 7 July 2022 And 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan, enjoying her breakthrough nomination as a meddlesome little girl in Atonement, hadn’t won any major precursors but was potentially next in a long line of child actresses like Tatum O’Neal and Anna Paquin to win the Oscar. Joe Reid, Vulture, 21 Mar. 2022 So, too, is your fear that answering an invitation to lunch will be considered meddlesome. Nicholas Ivor Martin And Jacobina Martin, oregonlive, 23 Mar. 2023 All of this has made Galvin unpopular at one time or another: Developers complain that the Historical Commission can be meddlesome; financial firms feel squeezed by Galvin’s strict regulations on brokers; civil libertarians have criticized his enforcement of the state’s weak public-records law. Mark Shanahan,, 27 Aug. 2022 So we’re spared the sort of meddlesome-U.S.-government boilerplate plot that weighed down a movie like Arrival. Vulture, 20 July 2022 There is no British belief in a conspiracy hatched by a shrouded cabal in the national capital—even the federalist inclinations of the EU were seen as incompetent and meddlesome rather than sinister and power-grabbing. Jonathan Myerson, The New York Review of Books, 4 May 2020 Russian propagandists are doing exactly that, right now, etching a picture of a virtuous, beleaguered country defending itself against meddlesome and dissolute international adversaries. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2022 See More

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 5 Jun. 2023.

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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