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 The idea is that even if the defender has enough interceptor missiles to go around, missiles like Sarmat can overwhelm the defender’s ability to shoot down threatening missiles at a specific moment, allowing at least some to slip through. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 29 Apr. 2022 The kind of direct-ascent weapon that the Biden administration is committing not to fire relies on interceptor missiles that travel from the Earth's surface to strike a satellite target hundreds of miles into space. CBS News, 19 Apr. 2022 The last time the U.S. launched a ground-to-space missile was in 2008, when the Navy launched an interceptor from the USS Lake Erie and blew apart a failing spy satellite that was tumbling back to Earth in an uncontrolled reentry. W.j. Hennigan, Time, 19 Apr. 2022 Home from the war, the elder Svendsen remained immersed in flying, including in three test programs for the F-102 Delta Dagger, a supersonic interceptor, at the U.S. Air Force Flight Test Center in 1956. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Apr. 2022 The Polish base, the heart of which is a system known as Aegis Ashore, contains sophisticated radars capable of tracking hostile missiles and guiding interceptor rockets to knock them out of the sky. New York Times, 16 Feb. 2022 That, of course, is the city’s interceptor, which was first installed in 1918 and completed in the 1940s. John Benson, cleveland, 3 Mar. 2022 Uran said the city was initially looking at an interceptor project that would serve as a Band-Aid to the current flooding problem but the ARPA funding opened the door to engage in solution that would be generational. Carrie Napoleon,, 15 Feb. 2022 American soldiers there launched Patriot interceptor missiles in response to the Houthi attacks last month, the first time U.S. troops have fired the system in combat since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Arkansas Online, 13 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of interceptor

1598, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of interceptor was in 1598

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Interceptor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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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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