Definition of intercept in English:


Syllabification: in·ter·cept


Pronunciation: /ˌin(t)ərˈsept
[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 Ed 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.
stop, head off, cut off;
catch, seize, grab, snatch;
obstruct, impede, interrupt, block, check, detain;
ambush, challenge, waylay
1.1 Football (Of a defensive player) catch a forward pass.
1.2chiefly Physics Cut off or deflect (light or other electromagnetic radiation).
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.
1.3 Mathematics (Of a line or surface) mark or cut off (part of a space, line, or surface).
More example sentences
  • This is aligned north/south and can be intercepted at various angles.


Pronunciation: /ˈin(t)ərsept
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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.
More 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.


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'.



More 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.

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cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope; dispirit