follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

interrupt

[v. in-tuh-ruhpt; n. in-tuh-ruhpt] /v. ˌɪn təˈrʌpt; n. ˈɪn təˌrʌpt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to cause or make a break in the continuity or uniformity of (a course, process, condition, etc.).
2.
to break off or cause to cease, as in the middle of something:
He interrupted his work to answer the bell.
3.
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?
verb (used without object)
4.
to cause a break or discontinuance; interfere with action or speech, especially by interjecting a remark:
Please don't interrupt.
noun
5.
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
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English interrupten < Latin interruptus past participle of interrumpere to break apart, equivalent to inter- inter- + rup-, variant stem of rumpere to burst + -tus past participle suffix; see rupture
Related forms
interruptedly, adverb
interruptedness, noun
interruptible, adjective
interruptive, adjective
noninterruptible, adjective
noninterruptive, adjective
reinterrupt, verb
self-interrupting, adjective
uninterruptible, adjective
uninterrupting, adjective
uninterruptive, adjective
Synonyms
1, 3. intermit. Interrupt, discontinue, suspend imply breaking off something temporarily or permanently. Interrupt may have either meaning: to interrupt a meeting. To discontinue is to stop or leave off, often permanently: to discontinue a building program. To suspend is to break off relations, operations, proceedings, privileges, etc., for a certain period of time, usually with the stipulation that they will be resumed at a stated time: to suspend operations during a strike.
Antonyms
1, 2. continue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for interrupt
  • Her cries are the only sounds to interrupt the otherwise quiet countryside.
  • Concrete and other building materials interrupt this cycle, and green roofs restore it to some degree.
  • Farmlands interrupt the movements of herds of animals that live on the vast area of the savanna.
  • We interrupt this critter fest to bring you a landscape appreciation moment.
  • The new gene might interrupt an important sequence, actually harming the cell.
  • interrupt people at unpredictable intervals and ask them what they're doing, and what's on their minds.
  • These oligomers may interrupt the signals transmitted between neurons.
  • Gaps in reasoning interrupt arguments for both free will and determinism.
  • We use books to escape the hundreds of e-mails, text messages, and phone calls that interrupt our day.
  • One way to solve that is to give users a toolbar to interrupt or stop the calculation.
British Dictionary definitions for interrupt

interrupt

/ˌɪntəˈrʌpt/
verb
1.
to break the continuity of (an action, event, etc) or hinder (a person) by intrusion
2.
(transitive) to cease to perform (some action)
3.
(transitive) to obstruct (a view)
4.
to prevent or disturb (a conversation, discussion, etc) by questions, interjections, or comment
noun
5.
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
Derived Forms
interruptible, adjective
interruptive, adjective
interruptively, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin interrumpere, from inter- + rumpere to break
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for interrupt
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.

n.

1957, originally in computers, from interupt (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
interrupt in Technology

programming
1. An asynchronous event that suspends normal processing and temporarily diverts the flow of control through an "interrupt handler" routine.
Interrupts may be caused by both hardware (I/O, timer, machine check) and software (supervisor, system call or trap instruction).
In general the computer responds to an interrupt by storing the information about the current state of the running program; storing information to identify the source of the interrupt; and invoking a first-level interrupt handler. This is usually a kernel level privileged process that can discover the precise cause of the interrupt (e.g. if several devices share one interrupt) and what must be done to keep operating system tables (such as the process table) updated. This first-level handler may then call another handler, e.g. one associated with the particular device which generated the interrupt.
2. Under MS-DOS, nearly synonymous with "system call" because the OS and BIOS routines are both called using the INT instruction (see interrupt list) and because programmers so often have to bypass the operating system (going directly to a BIOS interrupt) to get reasonable performance.
[Jargon File]
(1995-02-07)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Slide the arrow to see easier and harder words for interrupt
Easy Moderate Difficult

Word Value for interrupt

11
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with interrupt