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

The indictment said the Russians hacked into Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic Party and released tens of thousands of private communications as part of a broad conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in an American election. CBS News, "Trump responds to Russian hacking indictment by blaming Obama administration," 14 July 2018 This trimmed the opera’s considerable length and clarified its central point in a modern context: When macho Thésée attempts to meddle with Fate, Diane asserts the prerogative of the gods—and goddesses—to determine mortal destinies. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "French Opera Takes Over New York," 23 Apr. 2018 Although in some instances happenstance, the spate of headlines about Russians meddling in the U.S. election process clearly haven't gone unnoticed by TV writers. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Killing Eve' joins TV wave of killer Russians," 6 Apr. 2018 Then Mueller’s indictment of the Internet Research Agency established publicly beyond any question that people close to the Kremlin meddled extensively, expansively, and expensively in the election. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "4 Key Takeaways From Mueller’s First Year—and What’s Next," 17 May 2018 When Mulan began dating a Trump supporter, Sweeney meddled with their relationship and sent her husband to pry into the reasons behind the boyfriend's political leanings. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "Julia Sweeney is done making terrible movies," 9 May 2018 After a January 2017 briefing on Russia's attempt to meddle in the election, Pence, like other members of Trump’s incoming team, did not appear concerned with how to deal with Russia, according to Comey. Leigh Hedger, Indianapolis Star, "Messer didn’t disclose DUIs when he replaced lawmaker killed by drunken driver," 18 Apr. 2018 Russian delegates at a bilateral meeting in Berlin denied that their country meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and gave no opinion on President Donald Trump, the lawmaker who led the 13-member U.S. delegation said Saturday. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Russians deny election meddling, mum on Trump, US lawmaker says in Berlin," 8 July 2018 This week, the Senate Intelligence Committee officially backed the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election. Ian Bremmer, Time, "Trump and Putin Will Call Their Summit a Success. But Don't Expect U.S.-Russia Relations to Improve," 6 July 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

13 Sep 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).


to make amends

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