Definition of interference in US English:



  • 1The action of interfering or the process of being interfered with.

    ‘an unwarranted interference with personal liberty’
    ‘he denied that there had been any interference in the country's internal affairs’
    • ‘Because of these findings we decided to design an assessment without possible interferences between the cognitive and metacognitive processes.’
    • ‘They are actually quite accurate, as long as you don't have interferences to deal with.’
    • ‘The prime minister said: ‘The Home Office have already made it clear that no political interference has taken place in this case.’’
    • ‘Buses and two wheeled vehicles would also benefit as the curbside lane becomes available to them without interference from pedestrians and slow vehicles.’
    • ‘Wireless networks are subject to interference that can slow the system down.’
    • ‘Largely they are smart, know what they are doing, and can surely handle their lives independently and successfully without such interferences at least.’
    • ‘The Austrians, on the whole, believe unemployment is caused by governmental interferences which cause wage-rates to exceed labor's marginal productivity.’
    • ‘From the control tower, the traffic was clear and there were no signs of interference or alerts.’
    • ‘Such a limitation is well-defined, leaving central institutions, independent and free of outside interferences.’
    • ‘He makes it clear this applies as long as there is no outside interference.’
    • ‘Such choppy interferences told them an island was beyond their sight.’
    • ‘They knew interference when they saw it, and made sure to let Scott know how unhappy they were.’
    • ‘Behind it, corporate power could operate free from legal interference.’
    • ‘This legislation makes it clear that that sort of ministerial interference cannot occur again.’
    • ‘He predicted: ‘Over the years, unique professional traditions and qualities come into being, which will give judges the strength and the power to ward off outside interferences.’’
    • ‘We're determined not to allow outside interferences to bother us, but the high profile will be great for curling.’
    • ‘What he doesn't count on, however, is the resolve of the children, or the numerous interferences from the likes of Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine.’
    • ‘This is an experiment and I intend to carry it out perfectly without any outer interferences!’
    • ‘He obviously wasn't used to this many interferences.’
    • ‘The literature supplied with these machines mentions potential interference by other reductants.’
    intrusion, intervention, intercession, involvement, impinging, encroaching, trespass, trespassing, obtrusion
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1American Football The action of illegally interfering with an opponent's ability to catch a passed or kicked ball.
      • ‘Pass interference is by far the most annoying exclusion.’
      • ‘Through four games the Redskins have been penalized once for pass interference, and they have not been penalized for defensive holding or illegal contact after five yards.’
      • ‘In college, pass interference is a 15-yard penalty - period.’
      • ‘The team almost never gets flagged for defensive pass interference.’
      • ‘Some calls are deemed non-reviewable, such as pass interference.’
    2. 1.2American Football The legal blocking of an opponent or opponents to clear a way for the ballcarrier.
      • ‘Hamilton did hit Lewis, but pass interference is legal behind the line of scrimmage.’
    3. 1.3Baseball Any of various forms of hindering a player's ability to make a play, run, hit, etc.
      • ‘Umpire Rich Carcia working right field saw no interference on the play although the call has been the subject of controversy ever since.’
      • ‘Fortunately for the Tribe, the interference had no bearing on the inning as David Justice walked with the bases loaded before Jim Thome hit a grand slam.’
      • ‘It appeared as if the A's were about to put together a rally, but Parker was called out for batter-runner interference even though he was never struck by the baseball.’
      • ‘Runners need to be educated as to what constitutes this type of interference that takes place around second base, baseball's combat zone.’
      • ‘If the bat boy doesn't try to avoid the fielder, you've got interference and the batter would be called out.’
    4. 1.4 (in ice hockey and other sports) the illegal hindering of an opponent not in possession of the puck or ball.
      • ‘The NHL sent a video to each training camp so players could see what will not be allowed in the crackdown on interference and obstruction.’
      • ‘The officials might be losing a little of that focus on obstruction and interference, but it doesn't mean the effect has been lost completely.’
      • ‘The GAA has allowed physical interference off the ball as part of the game.’
      • ‘The NHL should be applauded for yet another crackdown on obstruction and interference, which have damaged the entertainment value of the game severely.’
      • ‘Obstruction and interference continue to infest the expansion-crazed NHL, but Roberts, Corson and Tucker can muck it up.’
  • 2Physics
    The combination of two or more electromagnetic waveforms to form a resultant wave in which the displacement is either reinforced or canceled.

    • ‘Atomic beams can act like light waves and exhibit all of the classic wave effects, like interference and refraction.’
    • ‘On the detecting screen we see a picture identical to one which is obtained from interference of waves.’
    • ‘All wires should be labeled, shielded from electromagnetic interference, and out of the way.’
    • ‘Electromagnetic interference occurs in two forms: conducted and radiated.’
    • ‘In this case, the destructive interference occurs for waves traveling in most directions, but not for those ultimately heading toward the focal point.’
    1. 2.1 The fading or disturbance of received radio signals caused by unwanted signals from other sources, such as unshielded electrical equipment, or broadcasts from other stations or channels.
      • ‘As a practical matter, all broadcast communication requires some public regulation to limit signal interference that could frustrate all such activity.’
      • ‘A constant priority for the agency is silencing stations that cause radio interference.’
      • ‘Originally draped in thick layers of glitches, radio interference and distorted noises, the title track eventually emerges as the most upbeat moment on here.’
      • ‘It is unlikely to be the result of any obvious radio interference or noise, and does not bear the hallmark of any known astronomical object.’
      • ‘This is a particularly apt description, which conjures up the image of a radio whose reception is disrupted by some outside source of interference.’
      • ‘This not only includes the new WiFi devices, but microwave ovens and other appliances that cause radio interference.’
      • ‘The radio crackled with interference and she switched it off.’
      • ‘The said equipment must not cause interference to others.’
      • ‘The digital output eliminates noise caused by such interference by keeping the signal in digital form throughout.’
      • ‘When the transmission encounters a disturbance due to interference, the packet will simply be retransmitted on a different channel.’
      • ‘It sounds like interference from a nearby radio station, but it is more likely to be the effect of a ‘leaky’ mike among the production crew.’
      • ‘This makes wireless networks more immune to interference from other radio signals than if they transmitted on a single frequency.’
      • ‘That didn't solve the problem; stations as far as 150 miles from one another suffered interference if they broadcast on the same channel.’
      • ‘The funding will also support research into broadband radio observations such as how to eliminate radio frequency interference.’
      • ‘The rest of the signals, and quite possibly all of them, would prove to be the result of random noise or radio frequency interference.’
      • ‘If you do encounter some wireless interference, just change channels and you should be fine.’
      • ‘Broadcasters are worried about interference.’
      • ‘However, they are subject to many sources of radio frequency type interference.’
      • ‘Every time you start your car ignition it causes interference to the radio band - so it's a very confusing technical issue.’
      • ‘The next time you experience hum, buzz, radio or television interference, attach a snap-on ferrite clamshell to the cable where it goes into a device.’
      disruption, disturbance, static, fading
      View synonyms


  • run interference

    • 1Move in such a way as to cause interference.

      See interference (sense 1)
      • ‘Stubblefield is doing a lot of the dirty work, taking on blockers and running interference so his teammates can quickly close on the running backs.’
      • ‘But it makes perfect sense if you think of them as blockers, running interference for Wilson.’
      1. 1.1North American informal Intervene on someone's behalf, typically so as to protect them from distraction or annoyance.
        ‘Elizabeth was quick to run interference and said that the Professor would be very busy’
        • ‘So he continues to lie shamelessly, secure in the knowledge that the mainstream media are running interference for him.’
        • ‘This is just one more example of how the mainstream media run interference for Democratic candidates.’
        • ‘In sharp contrast to the technology bust when law firms wanted to trim their ranks, many of today's firms are running interference in attempts to keep their associates from straying.’
        • ‘In times like these, Ted usually runs interference.’
        • ‘They want me to go with them, probably more to run interference than anything else.’
        • ‘Why are they running interference for and defending the group?’
        • ‘For a cut like that, an artist should expect the dealer to do the work of a transaction (market, cultivate, run interference, negotiate, collect, document, promote).’
        • ‘Perhaps his worst infraction is this: He gets in the way, running interference to make sure that no other parasite-like creatures can be created on his watch.’
        • ‘When he got into trouble, he assumed his older siblings would run interference, which they did.’
        • ‘They are really running interference for this president and it's understandable.’


Mid 18th century: from interfere, on the pattern of words such as difference.