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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for interfered

Contemporary Examples of interfered

  • Paxman suspects that former British Home Secretary Michael Howard had interfered in an internal civil-service disciplinary matter.

    The Daily Beast logo
    David Frost and the Art of the Interview

    David Frum

    September 7, 2013

  • Markets eventually find equilibrium, unless they are interfered with.

    The Daily Beast logo
    War of the Economists

    Michael Maiello

    October 29, 2011

Historical Examples of interfered

  • It would have interfered with her relations with Austin, which were beginning to be exciting.


    William J. Locke

  • These Mohmands had neither been irritated nor interfered with in any way.

  • "People have interfered with us a good deal, first and last," the Captain said, grimly.

  • But no human being had interfered with their journey, and their hopes rose to the zenith.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Alice interfered; she perceived that the ruthless Mrs. Dowling meant to have her way.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for interfered


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 interfered



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