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

Mechanical systems, such as Mr. Trash Wheel, a litter interceptor in Maryland’s Baltimore Harbor, can be effective at picking up large pieces of plastic, such as foam cups and food containers, from inland waters. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "The world's plastic pollution crisis explained," 12 June 2019 The United States started testing the GBI interceptor in the late 1990s, with the system declared partially operational in 2004. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Pentagon Claims Success in New Missile Defense Test," 26 Mar. 2019 The missile interceptors at the Alaska site could provide protection of the U.S. against threats from Iran, though Iran currently has no nuclear weapons or missiles capable of reaching U.S. soil. Robert Burns, Anchorage Daily News, "If North Korea disarms, will U.S. missile defense lose favor?," 26 June 2018 According to the Barents Observer, two squadrons of MiG-31BM interceptors will fly regular patrols over the North Pole region. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Resumes Fighter Patrols Over the North Pole," 6 Feb. 2019 These defenses would be satellites armed with interceptor rockets or, down the road, lasers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Wars' Lite? We Explain Trump's Missile Defense Strategy," 17 Jan. 2019 Enemies may also launch decoys to draw interceptors and try to overwhelm interception capabilities. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "New laser-equipped drones will take out missile threats against the US," 7 Sep. 2018 Social media images do appear to show that Saudi Patriot batteries firing interceptors., "Patriot missiles are made in America and fail everywhere," 29 Mar. 2018 The primary options include shooting them with interceptors fastened to drones or fighter jets, zapping them with solid-state lasers or striking them from weapons in space. Author: Paul Sonne, Anchorage Daily News, "Pentagon looks to adjust missile defense policy to include threats from Russia, China," 2 Mar. 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for interceptor

The first known use of interceptor was in 1598

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on interceptor

Nglish: Translation of interceptor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of interceptor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about interceptor

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