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Alternative forms[edit]


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. To disturb or halt an ongoing process or action by interfering suddenly.
    • Shakespeare
      Do not interrupt me in my course.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 3, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      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. To divide; to separate; to break the monotony of.
    The evenness of the road was not interrupted by a single hill.
  3. (computing) To assert to a computer that an exceptional condition must be handled.
    The packet receiver circuit interrupted the microprocessor.


Related terms[edit]


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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.


Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]