- 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 for interrupt on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for interrupt
A contest is divided into two 45-minute periods with a 15-minute halftime, and there are no commercials to interrupt the action.
This one, as the name implies, involves ingesting the long-lasting hallucinogen with the power to interrupt her addiction.Hallucinating Away a Heroin Addiction
May 4, 2014
Since a tight feeling in your lungs is so common during panic attacks, deep breathing can interrupt that cycle.How to Overcome Anxiety, Starting Now
April 5, 2014
At some points she almost lost control, then seemed to interrupt Romney more often than Obama.Matt Latimer: Why I Still Hate Town-Hall Debates
October 17, 2012
You, being a card-carrying member of the American elite—” Carville asserts before I interrupt him with a sarcastic “thank you.James Carville on His New Book, ‘It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!’
July 9, 2012
I am loth to interrupt you, Clary; though you could more than once break in upon me.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
The Inspector did not interrupt his work, but answered with the utmost good nature.Within the Law
Yet for some time Nicias made no attempt to interrupt its progress.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
Miss Whitmore, you will observe, had learned to interrupt when she had anything to say.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
The story was not yet finished; but George's impatience caused him to interrupt it.Biographical Stories
- 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 interrupt
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.
1957, originally in computers, from interupt (v.).