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See also: interférence


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From interfere +‎ -ence. The sense in physics was likely introduced by Thomas Young, which he used as early as 1802 in a paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.


  • IPA(key): /ˌɪntəɹˈfiɹɨns/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌɪntəˈfiɹəns/


interference (countable and uncountable, plural interferences)

  1. The act of interfering with something, or something that interferes.
    • 1961 March, B.A. Haresnape, “Design on the railway”, in Trains Illustrated, page 139:
      Somewhat impeded by constant political interference of one sort or another, British Railways are nevertheless pressing ahead with a mammoth modernisation programme; [...]
  2. (sports) The illegal obstruction of an opponent in some ball games.
    They were glued to the TV, as the referee called out a fifteen yard penalty for interference.
  3. (physics) An effect caused by the superposition of two systems of waves.
  4. A distortion on a broadcast signal due to atmospheric or other effects.
    They wanted to watch the game on TV, but there was too much interference to even make out the score on the tiny screen.
  5. (US, law) In United States patent law, an inter partes proceeding to determine the priority issues of multiple patent applications; a priority contest.
  6. (chess) The interruption of the line between an attacked piece and its defender by sacrificially interposing a piece.
  7. (linguistics) The situation where a person who knows two languages inappropriately transfers lexical items or structures from one to the other.


Derived terms[edit]


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