[verb in-ter-sept; noun in-ter-sept]
verb (used with object)
to take, seize, or halt (someone or something on the way from one place to another); cut off from an intended destination: to intercept a messenger.
to see or overhear (a message, transmission, etc., meant for another): We intercepted the enemy's battle plan.
to stop or check (passage, travel, etc.): to intercept the traitor's escape.
Sports. to take possession of (a ball or puck) during an attempted pass by an opposing team.
to stop or interrupt the course, progress, or transmission of.
to destroy or disperse (enemy aircraft or a missile or missiles) in the air on the way to a target.
to stop the natural course of (light, water, etc.).
Mathematics. to mark off or include, as between two points or lines.
Obsolete. to prevent or cut off the operation or effect of.
Obsolete. to cut off from access, sight, etc.
- an intercepted segment of a line.
- (in a coordinate system) the distance from the origin to the point at which a curve or line intersects an axis.
Lexical Investigations: Echelon
Echelon Echelon comes from the French échelon, a word whose literal meaning is “rung of a ladder.” Today the term applies generally to a level or rank of accomplishment or authority, but initially it was confined to military use in reference to a step-like formation of troops. While echelon entered English in a military context, it was the first and second World Wars that extended …
Funner, Gender, And Other Trending Words This Week
From NASCAR tracks to Washington, D.C., here are the words that were blowing up the Dictionary.com trending charts this week.
Origin of intercept
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for interceptive
Historical Examples of interceptive
She did not look at him, but this was better than meeting his eye with that interceptive glance.Indian Summer
William D. Howells
verb (ˌɪntəˈsɛpt) (tr)
to stop, deflect, or seize on the way from one place to another; prevent from arriving or proceeding
sport to seize or cut off (a pass) on its way from one opponent to another
maths to cut off, mark off, or bound (some part of a line, curve, plane, or surface)
- a point at which two figures intersect
- the distance from the origin to the point at which a line, curve, or surface cuts a coordinate axis
- an intercepted segment
sport, US and Canadian the act of intercepting an opponent's pass
Word Origin for intercept
C16: from Latin intercipere to seize before arrival, from inter- + capere to take
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
In a Cartesian coordinate system, the coordinate of a point at which a line, curve, or surface intersects a coordinate axis. If a curve intersects the x-axis at (4,0), then 4 is the curve's x-intercept; if the curve intersects the y-axis at (0,2), then 2 is its y-intercept.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.