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.

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

v.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.

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