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

  • transitive v. To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.
  • transitive v. To hinder or stop the action or discourse of (someone) by breaking in on: The baby interrupted me while I was on the phone.
  • intransitive v. To break in on an action or discourse.
  • n. Computer Science A signal to a computer that stops the execution of a running program so that another action can be performed.
  • n. Computer Science A circuit that conveys a signal stopping the execution of a running program.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to disturb or halt an ongoing process or action by interfering suddenly.
  • v. To assert to a computer that an exceptional condition must be handled.
  • n. An event that causes a computer to temporarily cease what it was doing and attend to a condition

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Broken; interrupted.
  • transitive v. To break into, or between; to stop, or hinder by breaking in upon the course or progress of; to interfere with the current or motion of; to cause a temporary cessation of.
  • transitive v. To divide; to separate; to break the monotony of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a break or gap in; break the course or continuity of; hence, to break off; bring to a pause or cessation; hinder the continuation of.
  • To break in upon or disturb the action of; stop or hinder in doing something.
  • Gaping: spreading apart, as the sides of anything.
  • Irregular; interrupted.
  • Disturbed; interrupted.

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

  • v. destroy the peace or tranquility of
  • v. terminate
  • v. make a break in
  • n. a signal that temporarily stops the execution of a program so that another procedure can be carried out
  • v. interfere in someone else's activity


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

Middle English interrupten, from Old French interrupte, interrupted, from Latin interruptus, past participle of interrumpere, to break off : inter-, inter- + rumpere, to break; see reup- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin interruptus, from interrumpere ("to break apart, break to pieces, break off, interrupt"), from inter ("between") + rumpere ("to break").


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  • One for an apparatus that can disable so-called interrupt masks within processors (Granted June 1996).


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