verb (used without object), med·dled, med·dling.

to involve oneself in a matter without right or invitation; interfere officiously and unwantedly: Stop meddling in my personal life!

Origin of meddle

1250–1300; Middle English medlen < Old French me(s)dler, variant of mesler (French mêler) < Vulgar Latin *misculāre, frequentative of Latin miscēre to mix
Related formsmed·dler, nounmed·dling·ly, adverbo·ver·med·dle, verb (used without object), o·ver·med·dled, o·ver·med·dling.un·med·dled, adjectiveun·med·dling, adjectiveun·med·dling·ly, adverb
Can be confusedmedal meddle metal mettle

Synonyms for meddle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for meddler

kibitzer, buttinsky, tattletale, snoop, busybody

Examples from the Web for meddler

Historical Examples of meddler

  • Nobody must tell me I'm a meddler, butting in where I have no business.

  • You chose to reject my love and invite that meddler Sedgwick into our affairs.

    The Pirate of Panama

    William MacLeod Raine

  • A meddler is always a muddler;' how well I remember her saying that.

  • The managers of big business attributed the panic to "Theodore the Meddler."

    The New Nation

    Frederic L. Paxson

  • You are as far as possible from a meddler: your fault is that you keep too much to yourself.

    A Pessimist

    Robert Timsol

British Dictionary definitions for meddler


verb (intr)

(usually foll by with) to interfere officiously or annoyingly
(usually foll by in) to involve oneself unwarrantedlyto meddle in someone's private affairs
Derived Formsmeddler, nounmeddling, adjectivemeddlingly, adverb

Word Origin for meddle

C14: from Old French medler, ultimately from Latin miscēre to mix
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 meddler

late 14c., "practitioner," agent noun from meddle (v.). Meaning "one who interferes, a nuisance" is mid-15c.



early 14c., "to mingle, blend, mix," from Old North French medler (Old French mesler, 12c., Modern French mêler) "to mix, mingle, to meddle," from Vulgar Latin *misculare (source of Provençal mesclar, Spanish mezclar, Italian mescolare, meschiare), from Latin miscere "to mix" (see mix (v.)). From late 14c. as "busy oneself, be concerned with, engage in;" also disparagingly "interfere, be officious, make a nuisance of oneself" (the notion is of meddling too much). From mid-14c. to 1700, it also was a euphemism for "have sexual intercourse." Related: Meddled; meddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper