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

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 Foreign nationals have been arrested amid meddling concerns in Bolivia and Colombia. Rafael Romo, CNN, "Five keys to understanding Latin America's turmoil," 3 Dec. 2019 Having foreign nations meddle in our elections is bad enough, but watching the president invite them to do so is completely over the line. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Rating the quarterback’s detractors (11/24/19)," 24 Nov. 2019 Himes said Nunes, one of the most ardent congressional allies of the White House during the impeachment inquiry, has been pushing a dubunked theory that Ukrainian officials meddled in the 2016 presidential election to hurt Mr. Trump's candidacy. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Himes says Nunes pushed "fantastical conspiracy theories" at impeachment hearings," 24 Nov. 2019 China has condemned previous U.S. voyages in the Taiwan Strait, claiming the U.S. was meddling in the China-Taiwan issue. Fox News, "China sails carrier fleet through Taiwan Strait in apparent message days after US warship crossed," 18 Nov. 2019 The senator also met this summer with Ukraine diplomat Andrii Telizhenko about unsubstantiated claims Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ron Johnson says his involvement in Ukraine will not cause him to recuse himself from a Senate impeachment trial," 29 Oct. 2019 This is what happens when organization continuously, toxically meddles in coaching. Conor Orr,, "NFL Teams That Will Almost Definitely Miss the Playoffs," 2 Oct. 2019 Refuse to let someone meddle in your private business. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Sept. 25, 2019," 25 Sep. 2019 Trump has continued to question whether Russia meddled in that race. Josh Lederman, NBC News, "Amid impeachment circus, the pro-Trump search for dirt on Ukraine, the Bidens, 2016 election goes on," 4 Nov. 2019

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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on meddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for meddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with meddle

Spanish Central: Translation of meddle

Nglish: Translation of meddle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meddle for Arabic Speakers

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to assail by words or arguments

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