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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Latin interruptus, from interrumpere (to break apart, break to pieces, break off, interrupt), from inter (between) + rumpere (to break).


  • IPA(key): /ˌɪntəˈɹʌpt/ (verb)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌpt (verb)
  • IPA(key): /ˈɪntəˌɹʌpt/ (noun)
  • Hyphenation: in‧ter‧rupt


interrupt (third-person singular simple present interrupts, present participle interrupting, simple past and past participle interrupted)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To disturb or halt (an ongoing process or action, or the person performing it) by interfering suddenly.
    • c. 1591–1595 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene iii]:
      Do not interrupt me in my course.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter III, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      One saint's day in mid-term a certain newly appointed suffragan-bishop came to the school chapel, and there preached on “The Inner Life.”  He at once secured attention by his informal method, and when presently the coughing of Jarvis [] interrupted the sermon, he altogether captivated his audience with a remark about cough lozenges being cheap and easily procurable.
    A maverick politician repeatedly interrupted the debate by shouting.
  2. (transitive) To divide; to separate; to break the monotony of.
    The evenness of the road was not interrupted by a single hill.
  3. (transitive, computing) To assert to (a computer) that an exceptional condition must be handled.
    The packet receiver circuit interrupted the microprocessor.


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English Wikipedia has an article on:

interrupt (plural interrupts)

  1. (computing, electronics) An event that causes a computer or other device to temporarily cease what it was doing and attend to a condition.
    The interrupt caused the packet handler routine to run.

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