med·​dle | \ ˈme-dᵊl How to pronounce meddle (audio) \
meddled; meddling\ ˈmed-​liŋ , ˈme-​dᵊl-​iŋ How to pronounce meddle (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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from meddle

meddler \ ˈmed-​lər How to pronounce meddle (audio) , ˈme-​dᵊl-​ər How to pronounce meddle (audio) \ noun

Examples of meddle in a Sentence

please stop meddling in your sister's marriage, even though you mean well
Recent Examples on the Web In fact, the company has battled intense criticism for years, especially following reports in 2016 and 2017 that Russia used the platform to meddle in the U.S. presidential election. - Make Genius Money Moves, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 Duterte and his police chiefs say killings were in self-defense, while his government insists the ICC has no right to meddle in the country's affairs. Reuters, CNN, 17 Sep. 2021 DDOSecrets co-founder Emma Best said the hacker got into the backend database via a SQL injection vulnerability, allowing for a hacker to meddle with it. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, 1 Mar. 2021 Intelligence agencies and independent experts have repeatedly pointed to Russian efforts to meddle with that vote, even as Trump himself steadfastly tried to fight those conclusions. Luciana Lopez, USA TODAY, 7 May 2021 Melisandre will meddle in some Dangerous Liaisons in the near future. Joey Nolfi,, 16 June 2021 Russia can meddle in Ukraine at the margins, but threats to fully invade and occupy a country of more than 44 million people aren’t credible. Ian Bremmer, Time, 11 June 2021 Why meddle in politics this way and alienate half of the country? Jerry Bowyer, National Review, 5 May 2021 McCarthy didn't mention two intelligence operations by Russia to meddle in US elections to help Trump win. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 18 June 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About meddle

Time Traveler for meddle

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near meddle




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for meddle

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Meddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

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 : interfere
: 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

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on meddle

Nglish: Translation of meddle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meddle for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!