[ in-ter-feer ]
See synonyms for: interfereinterfering 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.

  1. (of things) to strike against each other, or one against another, so as to hamper or hinder action; come into physical collision.

  2. to interpose or intervene for a particular purpose.

  3. to strike one foot or leg against another in moving, as a horse.

  4. Sports.

    • to obstruct the action of an opposing player in a way barred by the rules.

    • Football. to run interference for a teammate carrying the ball.

  5. Physics. to cause interference.

  6. to clash; come in collision; be in opposition: The claims of two nations may interfere.

  7. 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

First recorded in 1520–30; inter- + -fere (from Latin ferīre “to strike”); modeled on Middle French s'entreferir

Other words for interfere

Other words from interfere

  • in·ter·fer·er, noun
  • in·ter·fer·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·in·ter·fer·ing, adjective
  • non·in·ter·fer·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use interfere in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for interfere


/ (ˌɪntəˈfɪə) /

  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

  1. (foll by with) euphemistic to assault sexually

  2. to strike one against the other, as a horse's legs

  3. physics to cause or produce interference

Origin of interfere

C16: from Old French s'entreferir to collide, from entre- inter- + ferir to strike, from Latin ferīre

Derived forms of interfere

  • interferer, noun
  • interfering, adjective
  • interferingly, adverb

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