9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[med-l] /ˈmɛd l/
verb (used without object), meddled, meddling.
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 forms
meddler, noun
meddlingly, adverb
overmeddle, verb (used without object), overmeddled, overmeddling.
unmeddled, adjective
unmeddling, adjective
unmeddlingly, adverb
Can be confused
medal, meddle, metal, mettle.
intervene, intrude, pry. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for meddle
  • Great mischief is possible if boards try to meddle with the substance of the curriculum.
  • In banking too, the government has shown an itch to meddle.
  • Do not meddle in the affairs of geeks, for they are subtle and will get even.
  • Unfortunately, such dysfunctions tend to remain unaddressed because no outsider wants or dares to meddle in a marriage.
  • Some of the central bank's power to meddle has been reduced.
  • Recently if seems they want to meddle more, which will make things worse.
  • meddle with a campus's schedule, they say, and you are meddling with its basic metabolism.
  • Nor would it meddle in the detail of compensation packages.
  • Even the centrists within the party agree that the government needs to meddle in the economy more than it once did.
  • Possibly, as long as investors do not meddle too closely.
British Dictionary definitions for meddle


verb (intransitive)
(usually foll by with) to interfere officiously or annoyingly
(usually foll by in) to involve oneself unwarrantedly: to meddle in someone's private affairs
Derived Forms
meddler, noun
meddling, adjective
meddlingly, adverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for meddle

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
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