from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To stop, deflect, or interrupt the progress or intended course of: intercepted me with a message as I was leaving.
  • transitive v. Sports To gain possession of (an opponent's pass), as in football or basketball.
  • transitive v. Sports To gain possession of a pass made by (an opponent), especially in football.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To include or bound (a part of a space or curve) between two points or lines.
  • transitive v. Archaic To prevent.
  • transitive v. Obsolete To cut off from access or communication.
  • n. Mathematics The coordinate of a point at which a line, curve, or surface intersects a coordinate axis.
  • n. The interception of a missile by another missile or an aircraft by another aircraft.
  • n. Interception of a radio transmission.
  • n. An interceptor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An interception of a radio broadcast or a telephone call.
  • n. An interception of a missile.
  • n. The coordinate of the point at which a curve intersects an axis.
  • v. To stop, deflect or divert (something in progress or motion).
  • v. To gain possession of (the ball) in a ball game.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A part cut off or intercepted, as a portion of a line included between two points, or cut off two straight lines or curves.
  • transitive v. To take or seize by the way, or before arrival at the destined place; to cause to stop on the passage
  • transitive v. To obstruct or interrupt the progress of; to stop; to hinder or oppose.
  • transitive v. To interrupt communication with, or progress toward; to cut off, as the destination; to blockade.
  • transitive v. To include between.
  • transitive v. To overhear or view (a communication or message intended for another), without hindering its passage.
  • transitive v. To catch and take possession of (a ball passed between members of an opposing team).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take or seize by the way; interrupt the passage or the course of; bring to a halt or a stop: as, to intercept a letter or a messenger; to intercept rays of light.
  • To interrupt connection with or relation to; cut or shut off by interposition or interference; obstruct: as, to intercept one's view or outlook.
  • To interrupt; break off; put an end to.
  • In mathematics, to hold, include, or comprehend.
  • n. That which is intercepted; specifically, in geometry, the part of a line lying between the two points at which it is intersected by two other lines, by a curve, by two planes, or by a surface.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. tap a telephone or telegraph wire to get information
  • v. seize on its way
  • n. the point at which a line intersects a coordinate axis


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English intercepten, from Latin intercipere, intercept- : inter-, inter- + capere, to seize.



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