formerly also enterfere, mid-15c., "to strike against," from Middle French enterferir "exchange blows, strike each other," from entre- "between" (see entre-) + ferir "to strike," from Latin ferire "to knock, strike," related to Latin forare "to bore, pierce" (from PIE root *bhorh- "hole"). Compare 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. Modern French interférer is from English.
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