- to cause or make a break in the continuity or uniformity of (a course, process, condition, etc.).
- to break off or cause to cease, as in the middle of something: He interrupted his work to answer the bell.
- to stop (a person) in the midst of doing or saying something, especially by an interjected remark: May I interrupt you to comment on your last remark?
- to cause a break or discontinuance; interfere with action or speech, especially by interjecting a remark: Please don't interrupt.
- Computers. a hardware signal that breaks the flow of program execution and transfers control to a predetermined storage location so that another procedure can be followed or a new operation carried out.
Origin of interrupt
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for interrupting
Johnson gave an impromptu press conference during Hamer's speech, interrupting her televised testimony.Remembering Civil Rights Heroine Fannie Lou Hamer: 'I'm Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired'
Lottie L. Joiner
September 2, 2014
“My time has expired, and I have lost my patience with you,” Issa said, interrupting Koskinen.House Republicans Take on John Koskinen: Scenes From an IRS Sideshow
June 24, 2014
Over green tea, Than Gyi told us about her village, interrupting herself frequently to stare at us and laugh.A Little Too Off the Beaten Path in Burma
June 2, 2014
Another mass shooting has taken the lives of innocent kids, interrupting Benghazi coverage on Fox News.How The NRA Will Get You the Sexy Girl and Give You Your Schwerve Back
May 31, 2014
It smells like…” she begins, with Giamatti interrupting: “Jasmine.‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Is This Oscar Season’s Breath of Fresh Air
December 12, 2013
Hush, Bella, interrupting her, because I don't deserve it—I know you were going to say so.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
But the wish to laugh had returned, and made her stammer, interrupting her at each word.The Dream
Ecod then he'd no right to say so,' cried Jonas, interrupting. 'Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
"You know, I owe you a grudge," he said, interrupting Barroux.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
But pray, Sir, interrupting him, how came you to apprehend that I should revoke my intention?Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
- to break the continuity of (an action, event, etc) or hinder (a person) by intrusion
- (tr) to cease to perform (some action)
- (tr) to obstruct (a view)
- to prevent or disturb (a conversation, discussion, etc) by questions, interjections, or comment
- the signal to initiate the stopping of the running of one computer program in order to run another, after which the running of the original program is usually continued
Word Origin and History for interrupting
1957, originally in computers, from interupt (v.).
c.1400, "to interfere with a legal right," from Latin interruptus, past participle of interrumpere "break apart, break off," from inter- "between" (see inter-) + rumpere "to break" (see rupture (n.), and compare corrupt). Meaning "to break into (a speech, etc.)" is early 15c. Related: Interrupted; interrupting.