Definition of interfere in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪntəˈfɪə/


[no object]
1 (interfere with) Prevent (a process or activity) from continuing or being carried out properly: a holiday job would interfere with his studies
More example sentences
  • Many universities report that they instituted the zones to protect free speech rights and prevent demonstrations from interfering with other campus activities.
  • This means the members' hockey activities do not interfere with their jobs or education.
  • This will prevent other processes from interfering with our server while it is actually in the process of delivering a page.
impede, obstruct, get in the way of, stand in the way of, hinder, be a hindrance to, inhibit, restrict, restrain, constrain, hamper, handicap, cramp, check, block, frustrate, thwart, baulk, hold back, hold up;
disturb, disrupt, influence, affect, confuse
British informal throw a spanner in the works of
North American informal throw a monkey wrench in the works of
rare trammel, cumber
1.1(Of a thing) strike against or impede (something) when working: the rotors are widely separated and do not interfere with one another
More example sentences
  • Something I found curious was the fact that to fit in some audio headers where the PCI slots were to be placed, and to stop the cards from interfering with the header, the pins were bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • Differential pairs have to be used, and that means having to add shielding around the pins and often using extra pins to provide round planes to stop the signals interfering with each other through crosstalk at these speeds.
  • The developers must also determine how to control magnetic fields in each memory cell, to stop the fields from interfering with their neighbors and creating errors.
1.2Handle or adjust (something) without permission, especially so as to cause damage: he admitted interfering with a van
More example sentences
  • This year alone he has been charged with arson, criminal damage, interfering with a car and two counts of common assault.
  • The teenager must not interfere with, damage or take without consent any vehicle or any other property.
  • She was arrested and charged with criminal damage, assault, interfering with motor vehicles, aggravated trespass and harassment, and causing alarm and distress.
2Intervene in a situation without invitation or necessity: she tried not to interfere in her children’s lives
More example sentences
  • But she'd promised herself she'd never interfere in a situation like that - and she didn't.
  • We've interfered in their lives, their economies and everything, and now because it suits, we say that we cannot interfere in their internal affairs.
  • The relevant people should not make a fuss and should not interfere in business deals for political reasons.
butt into, barge into, pry into, nose into, be nosy about, intrude into, intervene in, get involved in, intercede in, encroach on, impinge on, impose oneself on;
meddle in, tamper with;
tread on someone's toes, step on someone's toes
informal poke one's nose into, mess with, horn in on, muscle in on, stick one's oar in, gatecrash
North American informal kibitz on
archaic entrench on
meddlesome, meddling, intrusive, intruding, prying, probing, nosy, inquisitive, over-curious, over-interested, busybody
informal nosy-parker, snoopy, snooping
Scottish & Northern English  nebby
archaic intermeddling
rare obtrusive, busy
3 (interfere with) British , euphemistic Sexually molest (someone, especially a child).
Example sentences
  • The evidence also indicated the deceased, a single woman, was sexually interfered with by her attacker.
  • Both women were naked and Diane had been sexually interfered with.
  • The guards told her that they had caught, or almost caught, detainees sexually interfering with the child.
sexually abuse, abuse, sexually assault, indecently assault, assault, molest, grope;
harm, damage
informal feel up, touch up, paw, maul
4 (interfere with) Law Attempt to bribe or intimidate (a witness): they face charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and interfering with witnesses
More example sentences
  • The attorney general can take proceedings for contempt of court against anyone who attempts to interfere with a witness.
  • The teenager was given bail on the condition he does not approach or interfere with prosecution witnesses.
  • Dr Brewer, who is now retired, is also accused of seeking to interfere with potential witnesses to the Professional Conduct Committee.
5 Physics (Of light or other electromagnetic waveforms) interact to produce interference: light pulses interfere constructively in a fibre to emit a pulse
More example sentences
  • The reason for the formation of the shockwave is that the sound waves emitted by the airplane interfere constructively on the surface of this cone.
  • If sound waves couldn't interfere constructively, you wouldn't be able to hear anyone else talk while you speak.
  • This phase shift alters the way the electron trajectories interfere, and therefore affects the electronic properties of the material.
5.1Cause interference to a broadcast radio signal.
Example sentences
  • Paper items are considered easier to tag because the products don't interfere as much with radio waves.
  • I used to listen to John Peel in the late seventies and early eighties when radio one was still on AM only and you had to tune it exactly or you got Radio Moscow interfering.
  • Satellite engineers also designed antennas that did not interfere with systems orbiting nearby and recommended adequate separation between satellites to prevent signals from interfering.
6(Of a horse) knock one foot against the fetlock of another leg.
Example sentences
  • When she was leading her horse from the corral the other horse interfered, causing the lead rope to tighten around Keely's hand, resulting in a serious injury.
  • If you have any concerns about how your equine friend will behave, or if he has shown a penchant for interfering or stepping on himself while moving, you may want to put protective boots or wraps on his legs.



Pronunciation: /ˌɪntəˈfɪərə/
Example sentences
  • I felt like an interferer, and as the parent did in fact turn up fairly punctually, I may have actually managed to freak out the child even more than he accomplished on his own.
  • The resulting small and integrated system addressing simultaneous interferers is ideally suited for space-limited vehicles, aircraft, and ships.
  • Joey and Faith looked at their interferer, ‘Johnathan?’


Late Middle English: from Old French s'entreferir 'strike each other', from entre- 'between' + ferir (from Latin ferire 'to strike').

Words that rhyme with interfere

adhere, Agadir, Anglosphere, appear, arrear, auctioneer, austere, balladeer, bandolier, Bashkir, beer, besmear, bier, blear, bombardier, brigadier, buccaneer, cameleer, career, cashier, cavalier, chandelier, charioteer, cheer, chevalier, chiffonier, clavier, clear, Coetzee, cohere, commandeer, conventioneer, Cordelier, corsetière, Crimea, dear, deer, diarrhoea (US diarrhea), domineer, Dorothea, drear, ear, electioneer, emir, endear, engineer, fear, fleer, Freer, fusilier, gadgeteer, Galatea, gazetteer, gear, gondolier, gonorrhoea (US gonorrhea), Greer, grenadier, hand-rear, hear, here, Hosea, idea, Izmir, jeer, Judaea, Kashmir, Keir, kir, Korea, Lear, leer, Maria, marketeer, Medea, Meir, Melilla, mere, Mia, Mir, mishear, mountaineer, muleteer, musketeer, mutineer, near, orienteer, pamphleteer, panacea, paneer, peer, persevere, pier, Pierre, pioneer, pistoleer, privateer, profiteer, puppeteer, racketeer, ratafia, rear, revere, rhea, rocketeer, Sapir, scrutineer, sear, seer, sere, severe, Shamir, shear, sheer, sincere, smear, sneer, sonneteer, souvenir, spear, sphere, steer, stere, summiteer, Tangier, tear, tier, Trier, Tyr, veer, veneer, Vere, Vermeer, vizier, volunteer, Wear, weir, we're, year, Zaïre

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Line breaks: inter|fere

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