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Line breaks: inter|rupt
Pronunciation: /ɪntəˈrʌpt

Definition of interrupt in English:


[with object]
1Stop the continuous progress of (an activity or process): the buzzer interrupted his thoughts
More example sentences
  • My sincere apologies for interrupting whatever lesson or activity you were engaged in.
  • Activities were interrupted by World War II, with the army taking over much of the museum facilities from 1943 to 1946.
  • The north Irish Sea region was never so firmly absorbed, partly because the outbreak of the Anglo-Scottish wars in the 1290s interrupted the process.
heckle, put one's oar in, have one's say;
British put one's pennyworth in;
North American put one's two cents in
informal butt in (on), chime in (on), horn in (on), muscle in (on)
British informal chip in (on)
stop, put a stop to, halt, bring to a halt, bring to a standstill, cease, end, bring to an end, bring to a close, cancel, sever, dissolve, terminate
informal take a breather from, put on ice, put on a back burner, put in cold storage
1.1Stop (someone speaking) by saying or doing something: Of course ...’ Shepherd began, but his son interrupted him
More example sentences
  • There is a lot to tell you so please do not interrupt me until I am done.
  • She interrupted him speaking softly in a determined voice.
  • During meetings, a speaker is never interrupted until it is clear they have finished speaking.
2Break the continuity of (a line or surface): the coastal plain is interrupted by chains of large lagoons
More example sentences
  • In these and other objects of the time, Noguchi used simple shapes with surfaces interrupted by additions or deletions that are geometric or nearly so.
  • The still surface was interrupted by something else floating nearby.
  • It is hard to imagine a more isolated and remote spot, set in the heart of the open Suffolk countryside where few landmarks interrupt the flat horizon.
break up, break, punctuate, intersperse;
pepper, strew, dot, scatter
2.1Obstruct (something, especially a view).
Example sentences
  • On the night bus, stealthily ogling the East European porn-star lookalike across the aisle, my view was interrupted by someone sitting down next to me.
  • Just then, Pace leaned forward and his oversize head interrupted my view of the seductress.
  • Tall as it is, there are no pillars to hold up its glazed roof, or to interrupt the view of MSPs or their audience.


late Middle English: from Latin interrupt- 'broken, interrupted', from the verb interrumpere, from inter- 'between' + rumpere 'to break'.



Example sentences
  • Dependency on uncertain and interruptible energy supplies from Middle Eastern states is a crucial strategic issue that must be resolved to assure the long-term security of Israel, the United States and the world's other democracies.
  • Now it's part of corporate surveillance - checking to see if you're at your desk, if you're instantly interruptible.
  • A person seeking another person's attention is normally able to quickly assess how interruptible the other person currently is.


Example sentences
  • There is, for some men, a whole way of being in the world that involves no self-consciousness at all, in which all their human interactions are unmediated except through the force of their interruptive personalities.
  • And you know, of course, that was terribly interruptive.
  • Programme makers and advertisers reached millions of people simultaneously with their messages, and marketers created power brands through interruptive advertising.

Definition of interrupt in:

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