Share this entry

Share this page

intercept

Line breaks: inter|cept

Definition of intercept in English:

verb

Pronunciation: /ˌɪntəˈsɛpt
 
/
[with object]
1Obstruct (someone or something) so as to prevent them from continuing to a destination: intelligence agencies intercepted a series of telephone calls I intercepted Edward on his way to work
More example sentences
  • Until now it has been legally prevented from intercepting communications amongst Canadians within Canada.
  • To the fore came satellite imagery and the National Security Agency's capacity to intercept communications.
  • The other agencies have a similar problem, but NSA is our intelligence-gathering agency that intercepts the airwaves, and they pick up more conversations than any other intelligence-gatherer.
Synonyms
stop, head off, cut off;
catch, seize, grab, snatch, expropriate, commandeer;
obstruct, impede, interrupt, block, check, detain;
attack, ambush, take on, challenge, pounce on, swoop down on, waylay, accost, tackle, confront
informal buttonhole
1.1chiefly Physics Cut off or deflect (light or other electromagnetic radiation): a second prism can be swung in to intercept the light beam
More example sentences
  • There is essentially a linear relationship between the total dry matter produced by a crop and the radiation intercepted by it.
  • This light is intercepted by the two tracking detectors, and this provides a means for developing a control for the tracking system.
  • Thus, it must be something that is happening in the atmosphere to intercept solar radiation.
1.2 Mathematics (Of a line or surface) mark or cut off (part of a space, line, or surface).
Example sentences
  • This is aligned north/south and can be intercepted at various angles.

noun

Pronunciation: /ˈɪntəsɛpt
 
/
Back to top  
1An act or instance of intercepting something: he read the file of radio intercepts
More example sentences
  • They knew that the operation was in trouble from intercepts of Japanese radio traffic.
  • But these officials said they are not certain how reliable the information is and said there are no radio intercepts or other types of evidence to corroborate the reports.
  • We have the ability to read their mail through radio intercepts.
1.1 Mathematics The point at which a given line cuts a coordinate axis; the value of the coordinate at that point.
Example sentences
  • The intercept of the extrapolated regression line and x-axis was taken to be an estimate of the presentation time.
  • Because the intercept was expected to pass through the origin, it was fixed at zero for each fit.
  • This relationship is decreasing, with a slope and intercept significantly different from zero.

Origin

late Middle English (in the senses 'contain between limits' and 'halt (an effect')): from Latin intercept- 'caught between', from the verb intercipere, from inter- 'between' + capere 'take'.

Derivatives

interception

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈsɛpʃ(ə)n/
noun
Example sentences
  • A number of finely timed interceptions and tackles.
  • Players in the zone perform more game changing moves, like forcing fumbles or interceptions, or breaking tackles or opening holes for larger plays.
  • There is now a touch of elegance and effectiveness in his interceptions and tackling.

interceptive

2
Pronunciation: /-ˈsɛptɪv/
adjective
Example sentences
  • Likewise he has been a colossal force throughout this campaign and his interceptive vision has been an important factor in their progress.
  • His first came from a tight angle on the right, his second after great interceptive play.
  • ‘This work demonstrates the use of simple control mechanisms that utilize invariant geometric properties to accomplish interceptive tasks,’ the researchers conclude.

Definition of intercept in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: dʒɔːnt
noun
a short excursion or journey made for pleasure