interrupt

1 of 2

verb

in·​ter·​rupt ˌin-tə-ˈrəpt How to pronounce interrupt (audio)
interrupted; interrupting; interrupts

transitive verb

1
: to stop or hinder by breaking in
interrupted the speaker with frequent questions
2
: to break the uniformity or continuity of
a hot spell occasionally interrupted by a period of cool weather

intransitive verb

: to break in upon an action
especially : to break in with questions or remarks while another is speaking
interruptible adjective
interruptive adverb

interrupt

2 of 2

noun

in·​ter·​rupt ˌin-tə-ˈrəpt How to pronounce interrupt (audio)
ˈin-tə-ˌrəpt
: a feature of a computer that permits the temporary interruption of one activity (such as the execution of a program) in order to perform another
also : the interruption itself

Examples of interrupt in a Sentence

Verb It's not polite to interrupt. His dinner was interrupted by a phone call. We interrupt this program to bring you a special announcement. Every summer periods of cool weather occasionally interrupt the intense heat.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Gaza protesters interrupt fundraiser Ahead of the show, supporters lined barricades along the streets as the motorcade with the three presidents arrived. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2024 Laying the foundation for compassionate dialogue requires interrupting that pattern and moving back into the frontal-lobe part of the brain. Susan Callender, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 During a conversation about former president Donald Trump's ongoing legal issues, the EGOT winner interrupted co-host Sunny Hostin to address a man sitting in the stands at the live ABC News show. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 26 Mar. 2024 That the show is being interrupted, that this is going to ruin it? Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 24 Mar. 2024 On the flip side of that, the narrative is continuously interrupted by tiles on the screen that give context to the action. Murtada Elfadl, Variety, 22 Mar. 2024 Violence can interrupt prayer or play at any moment. Sufian Taha, Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2024 The sounds of people laughing were interrupted by loud thuds of heads hitting rocks or pipes, followed by more laughing — and words unprintable in a family newspaper. Mark E. Potts, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2024 The show, the first-ever 30-minute TV soap, had milestones aplenty during its run, from Walter Cronkite interrupting in 1963 to announce that President Kennedy had been shot to the first gay character on daytime in 1988. Abby West, EW.com, 20 Mar. 2024
Noun
Embiid’s unfortunate injury interrupts what has been another terrific campaign for the 29-year-old center. Sam Joseph, CNN, 5 Feb. 2024 Changing the number loaded into the timer alters the interval between interrupts. IEEE Spectrum, 30 Jan. 2024 Although seven levels of interrupts were available for the 68000, only three were used. IEEE Spectrum, 2 July 2023 But first, another actor who knows a thing or two about being in the business for years, interrupts. Emily Longeretta, Variety, 8 June 2023 His more reserved son Jamar – an indie label exec and publisher – interrupts to correct dates and keep the conversation focused on New Moves, the father-and-son album due out this spring by a supergroup of hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll artists calling themselves The Chess Project. Steve Knopper, Billboard, 5 May 2023 In Alaska, Gibbs and McGee interrupt Sonova CEO Sonia Eberhard at the groundbreaking ceremony for the copper ore mine. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 12 Oct. 2021 Hearing their own name is a pattern interrupt that gets their attention. Forbes, 5 July 2021 Hearing that Jennifer has just called the president a misogynist on CNN, Nora has another advisor interrupt POTUS' on-camera interview. Nick Schager, EW.com, 13 Sep. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'interrupt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Latin interruptus, past participle of interrumpere, from inter- + rumpere to break — more at reave

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1957, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of interrupt was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near interrupt

Cite this Entry

“Interrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interrupt. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

interrupt

verb
in·​ter·​rupt
ˌint-ə-ˈrəpt
1
: to stop or hinder by breaking in
interrupt a conversation
2
: to break the sameness or course of
a loud crash interrupted the silence
interrupter noun
interruption
-ˈrəp-shən
noun
interruptive
-ˈrəp-tiv
adjective
Etymology

Verb

Middle English interrupten "to interrupt," from Latin interruptus, past participle of interrumpere "to interrupt," from inter- "between, among" and rumpere "to break" — related to rupture

More from Merriam-Webster on interrupt

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