- 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 interrupts
"I hope your reign," she says, "is long and peacef..." "Yes, yes," Joffrey interrupts, waving his hand to dismiss her.Game of Thrones’ ‘The Lion and the Rose’: Joffrey’s Demented, Shocking Royal Wedding
April 14, 2014
Carrie is still insisting that Javadi stop Brody's execution when Javadi interrupts her.‘Homeland’ Finale Shocker: A Death in the Family
December 16, 2013
The scene begins chaotically, as Sondheim interrupts the recording and tells Dean Jones to try again.Sondheim on Sondheim: American Musical Theater in Six Songs
December 9, 2013
Newt Gingrich interrupts an interview to turn the conversation into a discussion of his favorite zoos.‘Caucus,’ a Documentary of the GOP’s Crazy Days in Iowa
November 9, 2013
They vary in pitch and intelligibility as they reach their excited climaxes—or when she interrupts them to coo at Max.Meet Mariann From Brooklyn, Howard Stern’s Biggest Fan
February 28, 2013
There is a tinge of haughtiness in her manner as she interrupts him.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
"I have no time for 'buts' and 'ifs,'" she interrupts him, gently.Molly Bawn
Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
You start to do one thing and something else interrupts you.The Straw
At this point in the dialogue the doctor enters the room and interrupts the tale.Diderot and the Encyclopdists
"And what it will do for you one of these days," interrupts the jailer, admonishingly.An Outcast
F. Colburn Adams
- 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 interrupts
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.