interrupt

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

Definition of interrupt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

interrupt

noun
in·​ter·​rupt | \ ˌin-tə-ˈrəpt How to pronounce interrupt (audio) , ˈin-tə-ˌrəpt \

Definition of interrupt (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from interrupt

Verb

interruptible \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce interruptible (audio) \ adjective
interruptive \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈrəp-​tiv How to pronounce interruptive (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for interrupt

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Protesters interrupted Tuesday press conference to demand that same. oregonlive, "Multnomah County, Portland suspend evictions during coronavirus outbreak," 17 Mar. 2020 At one point, Morales interrupted our conversation to tell my photographer not to take pictures of the woman. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "The Fall of Evo Morales," 16 Mar. 2020 But college isn’t just about class; for those students whose spring performances have been canceled, whose athletic careers are being interrupted, the move online is devastating. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Colleges are closing because of coronavirus so my kids are coming home. Help!," 13 Mar. 2020 The virus has already interrupted opportunities for high school athletes; less high profile than professional or collegiate sports, but not less meaningful for the students. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus’ Bay Area sports impact: Expert says avoid games; teams wary," 6 Mar. 2020 The fast-spreading virus has interrupted that equability. Joe Wallace, WSJ, "Coronavirus Delivers Jolt to Sleepy Currency Markets," 3 Mar. 2020 The difference between the two grain patterns interrupts the forces that would normally crack the handle. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "How To Make an Heirloom Toolbox," 25 Feb. 2020 Or perhaps a magic box in the cockpit somehow interrupts service to dissuade in-flight use. Christopher Schaberg, The Atlantic, "The Mobile Dead Zone on Airplanes," 1 Dec. 2019 Their classes won't be interrupted as a result, the Messenger reported. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Amid coronavirus worries, Centre students back from China reportedly quarantined as precaution," 13 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Faced with out-of-bounds readings for the radar’s hardware, each CDU began to issue radar increment and decrement interrupts to the guidance computer—lots of interrupts. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "No, a “checklist error” did not almost derail the first moon landing," 5 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of interrupt

Verb

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

Noun

1957, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for interrupt

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about interrupt

Time Traveler for interrupt

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for interrupt

Last Updated

23 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interrupt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interrupt. Accessed 4 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for interrupt

interrupt

verb
How to pronounce interrupt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of interrupt

: to ask questions or say things while another person is speaking : to do or say something that causes someone to stop speaking
: to cause (something) to stop happening for a time
: to cause (something) to not be even or continuous : to change or stop the sameness or smoothness of (something)

interrupt

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

Kids Definition of interrupt

1 : to stop or hinder by breaking in Don't interrupt our conversation.
2 : to break the sameness or course of A loud crash interrupted the silence.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on interrupt

What made you want to look up interrupt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!