American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or an instance of hindering, obstructing, or impeding.
- n. Something that hinders, obstructs, or impedes.
- n. Sports Illegal obstruction or hindrance of an opposing player, such as hindrance of a receiver by a defender in football, hindrance of a fielder by a base runner in baseball, or checking a player not in possession of the puck in ice hockey.
- n. Football The legal blocking of defensive tacklers to protect and make way for the ball carrier.
- n. Physics The variation of wave amplitude that occurs when waves of the same or different frequency come together.
- n. Electronics The inhibition or prevention of clear reception of broadcast signals.
- n. Electronics The distorted portion of a received signal.
- n. The negative or distorting effect that new learning can have on previous learning or that previous learning can have on new learning.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of interfering; interposition; especially, intermeddling.
- n. A clashing or collision; the act of coming into violent contact.
- n. In farriery, a striking of one foot against the one next to it, as one hind foot against the other.
- n. In Amer. patent law, the conflict between two patents or applications for patent which claim in whole or in part the same invention. Hence, to go into interference (of an application for a patent) is to be reserved for the purpose of litigating the question in the patent office before the application shall be granted.
- n. In physics, the mutual action of waves of any kind (whether those in water, or sound-, heat-, or light-waves) upon one another, by which, under certain conditions, the vibrations and their effects are increased, diminished, or neutralized. The term was first employed by Dr. Young to express certain phenomena which result from the mutual action of the rays of light ou one another. In general, if two systems of waves come together, they interfere—that is, they unite to reinforce or destroy one another, the actual disturbance of the medium at any instant being the resultant of the two disturbances considered separately. For example, if the two systems are of equal intensity and in the same phase, the result will be a doubled disturbance; if, however, they are half a wave-length apart, the result will be rest. Thus, two sounds of the same pitch and intensity produce a note of double the intensity when they meet in the same phase, the point of condensation of one corresponding to that of the other; when, on the other hand, the point of maximum condensation of the first corresponds to that of rarefaction of the other, they destroy each other. Again, if two notes differing but slightly in pitch (say one vibration per second) are sounded together, there will be one instant in each second when the two wave-systems will nearly coincide in phase, and one when they will be half a wave-length apart; the result is that they alternately strengthen and weaken each other at these moments, and the ear perceives the pulsations in the note called
beats(see beat, 7). The same principles hold true in the case of light, as was first shown by Young. The interference of light-waves is illustrated by the phenomena of diffraction (see diffraction): thus, a diffraction grating gives with monochromatic light a series of light and dark bands (interference fringes), corresponding respectively to the points of maximum and minimum motion resulting from the mutual action of the two wave-systems; for the former they are iu the same phase, for the latter they differ in phase by half a wave-length. If white light is employed, a series of spectra (interference spectra) of different orders is obtained. Newton's rings, obtained, for example, when ordinary light is reflected from a convex lens of long focus pressed upon a plate of glass, are circular interference spectra. The colors of thin films, as of oil on water or of a soap-bubble, are due to interference, as is also the iridescence of some antique glass or of mother-of-pearl. Still again, the beautiful figures produced when a section of a uniaxial crystal cut normal to the axis, or of a biaxial crystal cut normal to the bisectrix, is viewed in converging polarized light are similar phenomena, and are hence called interference figures. Recently (1888–9) Hertz has shown that electric waves, produced, for example, by induction discharges between two metal surfaces and propagated through space, also exhibit under proper conditions interference phenomena. These waves may have a length of several feet. See wave.
- n. In base-ball and foot-ball, the act of interfering. See interfere, v. i., 5 and 6.
- n. The act of interfering with something, or something that interferes.
- n. sports The illegal obstruction of an opponent in some ball games.
- n. physics An effect caused by the superposition of two systems of waves, such as a distortion on a broadcast signal due to atmospheric or other effects.
- n. US, law In United States patent law, an inter partes proceeding to determine the priority issues of multiple patent applications; a priority contest.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act or state of interfering
- n. (Physics) The mutual influence, under certain conditions, as from streams of light, or pulsations of sound, or, generally, two waves or vibrations of any kind, producing certain characteristic phenomena, as colored fringes, dark bands, or darkness, in the case of light, silence or increased intensity in sounds; neutralization or superposition of waves generally.
- n. (Patent Law) The act or state of interfering, or of claiming a right to the same invention.
- n. (American football) blocking a player's path with your body
- n. electrical or acoustic activity that can disturb communication
- n. the act of hindering or obstructing or impeding
- n. a policy of intervening in the affairs of other countries
- n. any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome
“Poirot himself remains unchanged, although his interference is a catalyst for the woman's change.”
“The official who resigned said he walked off because of what he calls interference of foreigners.”
“A spokesman for President Robert Mugabe lashed out at foreign countries at what he calls their interference with the country's election process.”
“Well, the militant group Hamas is protesting what it calls interference by the U.S. and Israel.”
“Scott McClellan telling reporters that the Bush administration is deeply concerned about what he called interference and intimidation by Syrian operatives in Lebanon.”
“He was somebody who even while the Syrians were here, was unsparing in his criticism about Syrian involvement and what he called interference in Lebanon.”
“Mugabe, in return, lambasted Britain for what he called interference in his country's internal affairs.”
“Thirty six members of Jordan's major tribes have attacked what they called the interference of Queen Rania.”
“The delegations of Russia, China and Cuba all took the floor to denounce what they called interference in Syria's internal affairs and said that they would vote against the text.”
“The mayor took issue with what he characterized as interference by outsiders in the city's plans.”
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