Definition of interrupt in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪntəˈrʌpt/


[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.
cut in (on), break in (on), barge in (on), intrude (on), interfere (with), intervene (in);
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)
suspend, adjourn, discontinue, break off, hold up, delay, lay aside, leave off, postpone, put off, put back, defer, shelve;
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.
obstruct, impede, block, interfere with, cut off, get in the way of, limit, restrict



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.


Pronunciation: /ˌɪntəˈrʌptɪv/
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.


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

  • corrupt from Middle English:

    Corrupt comes from Latin corrumpere ‘mar, bribe, destroy’, from cor- ‘altogether’ and rumpere ‘to break’. Also from rumpere are disrupt (Late Middle English) ‘break apart’; eruption (Late Middle English) a breaking out; interrupt (Late Middle English) ‘to break between’. See words at rut

Words that rhyme with interrupt

abrupt, corrupt, disrupt, erupt, irrupt

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: inter|rupt

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