med·​dle | \ˈme-dᵊl \
meddled; meddling\ ˈmed-​liŋ , ˈme-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of meddle 

intransitive verb

: to interest oneself in what is not one's concern : interfere without right or propriety (see propriety sense 3) I never meddle in other people's private affairs— G. B. Shaw

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Other Words from meddle

meddler \ ˈmed-​lər , ˈme-​dᵊl-​ər \ 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

Whether Russian authorities sought to meddle in the 2016 election to help Trump prevail has been a key point of contention between House and Senate intelligence committees. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Findings that Russia meddled to help Trump beat Clinton were 'accurate and on point': Senate intel panel," 3 July 2018 The intelligence community says the Russians meddled to help Trump hurt Hillary. Fox News, "Rudy Giuliani: Strzok's defense is ridiculous, pathetic," 13 July 2018 Adora wants Camille to stop meddling in the investigation and bringing shame to the family. Lorraine Ali,, "Review: 'Sharp Objects' pierces slowly but cuts deeply, and Amy Adams is phenomenal," 6 July 2018 The Fox News Sunday host also intends to question Putin on the allegations surrounding possible Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the upcoming 2018 election. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, "Chris Wallace Set to Interview Putin After Trump Helsinki Summit," 13 July 2018 People who meddle in every part of the creative process. Mike Reiss, WSJ, "How to Succeed Like ‘The Simpsons’," 25 May 2018 Mueller also has indicted 13 Russian individuals working for the Internet Research Agency accused of running an elaborate scheme to meddle in the U.S. elections. Tom Lobianco, The Seattle Times, "Dems’ lawsuit alleges conspiracy between Trump camp, Russia," 21 Apr. 2018 Hurd also touched on the funding for election security grants included in the omnibus, citing the importance of preventing Russia from again meddling in U.S. elections. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Hurd talks DACA fix, spending bill, election security at chamber luncheon," 29 Mar. 2018 Rosenstein was able to explain in excruciating detail some of the evidence that would support the intelligence chiefs' certain conclusion that Russia meddled in our election. Jennifer Rubin, Anchorage Daily News, "What has changed in the Russia investigation?," 18 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for meddle

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for meddle

The first known use of meddle was in the 14th century

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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 \
meddled; meddling

Kids Definition of meddle

: to be overly involved in someone else's business

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Comments on meddle

What made you want to look up meddle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a private place of worship

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