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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English medlen, from Anglo-Norman medler, from Early Medieval Latin misculāre, derived from Latin misceō (to mix).



meddle (third-person singular simple present meddles, present participle meddling, simple past and past participle meddled)

  1. To interfere in or with; to concern oneself with unduly. [from 14thc.]
    Synonyms: dabble, stick one's nose into, stick one's oar in
  2. (obsolete) To interest or engage oneself; to have to do (with), in a good sense.
    • 1526, [William Tyndale, transl.], The Newe Testamẽt [] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], →OCLC, 1 Thessalonians iiij:[11], folio cclxx, verso:
      [] ſtuddy to be quyet / and to medle with youre owne buſynes [].
    • 1734, Isaac Barrow, “Lecture II. Of the Particular Division of the Mathematical Sciences”, in John Kirkby, transl., The Usefulness of Mathematical Learning Explained and Demonstrated: Being Mathematical Lectures Read in the Publick Schools at the University of Cambridge. [], London: [] Stephen Austen, [], →OCLC, page 14:
      The Pythagoreans who, as Ariſtotle ſays, were the firſt among the Greeks, that meddled with Mathematics, divided them into four Parts, of which, two were Pure and Primary, namely Arithmetic and Geometry; and the other two Mixed and Secondary, as Muſic and Spheres, i. e. Aſtronomy.
  3. (obsolete) To mix (something) with some other substance; to commingle, combine, blend. [14th–17th c.]
    Synonyms: bemingle, combine, ming; see also Thesaurus:mix
  4. (intransitive, now US regional) To have sex. [from 14thc.]
    Synonyms: do it, get it on, ming; see also Thesaurus:copulate
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter V, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVII:
      But after god came to Adam and bad hym knowe his wyf flesshly as nature requyred / Soo lay Adam with his wyf vnder the same tree / and anone the tree whiche was whyte and ful grene as ony grasse and alle that came oute of hit / and in the same tyme that they medled to gyders there was Abel begoten / thus was the tree longe of grene colour
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition 2, section 5, member 1, subsection v, page 323:
      Take a Rammes head that neuer medled with an Ewe, cut off at a blow, and the hornes onely taken away, boyle it well skinne and wooll together, [].

Derived terms[edit]


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