See more synonyms for interfere on
verb (used without object), in·ter·fered, in·ter·fer·ing.
  1. to come into opposition, as one thing with another, especially with the effect of hampering action or procedure (often followed by with): Constant distractions interfere with work.
  2. to take part in the affairs of others; meddle (often followed by with or in): to interfere in another's life.
  3. (of things) to strike against each other, or one against another, so as to hamper or hinder action; come into physical collision.
  4. to interpose or intervene for a particular purpose.
  5. to strike one foot or leg against another in moving, as a horse.
  6. Sports.
    1. to obstruct the action of an opposing player in a way barred by the rules.
    2. run interference for a teammate carrying the ball.
  7. Physics. to cause interference.
  8. to clash; come in collision; be in opposition: The claims of two nations may interfere.
  9. Law. to claim earlier invention when several patent requests for the same invention are being filed.
Verb Phrases
  1. interfere with, Chiefly British. to molest sexually.

Origin of interfere

1520–30; inter- + -fere < Latin ferīre to strike; modeled on Middle French s'entreferir
Related formsin·ter·fer·er, nounin·ter·fer·ing·ly, adverbnon·in·ter·fer·ing, adjectivenon·in·ter·fer·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for interfere

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for interfere

Contemporary Examples of interfere

Historical Examples of interfere

  • No man ventured to interfere with this lawful exercise of his authority.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "I shall not interfere with that arrangement," said the lawyer, misunderstanding his object.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Even she always stopped soon, if she undertook to interfere with Malbone.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • We have never any wish to interfere in the political conditions of any other countries.

  • Henry moved forward to interfere once more, but this time he was not needed.

British Dictionary definitions for interfere


verb (intr)
  1. (often foll by in) to interpose, esp meddlesomely or unwarrantedly; intervene
  2. (often foll by with) to come between or in opposition; hinder; obstruct
  3. (foll by with) euphemistic to assault sexually
  4. to strike one against the other, as a horse's legs
  5. physics to cause or produce interference
Derived Formsinterferer, nouninterfering, adjectiveinterferingly, adverb

Word Origin for interfere

C16: from Old French s'entreferir to collide, from entre- inter- + ferir to strike, from Latin ferīre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for interfere

mid-15c., "to strike against," from Middle French enterferer "to strike each other," from entre- "between" (see entre-) + ferir "to strike," from Latin ferire "to knock, strike," related to Latin forare "to bore, pierce" (see bore (v.), and cf. punch (v.), which has both the senses "to hit" and "to make a hole in"). Figurative sense of "to meddle with, oppose unrightfully" is from 1630s. Related: Interfered; interfering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper