in·​ter·​cep·​tor | \ ˌin-tər-ˈsep-tər How to pronounce interceptor (audio) \
variants: or less commonly intercepter

Definition of interceptor

: one that intercepts specifically : a light high-speed fast-climbing fighter plane or missile designed for defense against raiding bombers or missiles

Examples of interceptor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite the deployment of maritime surveillance ranging from ocean patrols to helicopters to interceptors, the rampant piracy has proven to be a steep challenge to squash. Fox News, "Mexican pirates posing greater risk in Gulf of Mexico to oil workers, tourists," 1 Oct. 2019 Already, concepts for interceptors are getting off the ground. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Interstellar comet starts coming into focus," 4 Oct. 2019 Another, as Defense News notes, could be to use the U.S. Navy’s SM-3 ballistic missile interceptor as a ballistic missile. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Is on the Verge of Testing a New Ballistic Missile," 13 Nov. 2019 Workers at the facility build components for space-launch vehicles as well as targets and interceptors for the nation's defenses against intercontinental ballistic missiles. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Northrop Grumman showcases new 2,500-employee missile-defense facility in Chandler," 12 Nov. 2019 In many instances, low-cost lasers could destroy targets instead of expensive interceptor missiles. Fox News, "Army plans 'lase-off' competition to incinerate targets with lasers fired from Strykers," 5 Nov. 2019 The kingdom earlier this year finalized a long-sought after contract for Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Thaad missile interceptors designed to intercept ballistic missiles at higher altitudes., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 21 Sep. 2019 There are currently 44 interceptors equipped with the EKV deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Video: DOD pulls plug on Boeing/Raytheon missile interceptor program," 17 Sep. 2019 The Defense Department plans to add 20 more silos at Fort Greely for additional interceptors. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Video: DOD pulls plug on Boeing/Raytheon missile interceptor program," 17 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interceptor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of interceptor

1598, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for interceptor

Time Traveler

The first known use of interceptor was in 1598

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Statistics for interceptor

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interceptor.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for interceptor


How to pronounce interceptor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of interceptor

: a fast military plane or missile used to defend against enemy planes or enemy missiles

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Comments on interceptor

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to express in a more acceptable way

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