- The definition of an interrupt is a computer signal that tells the computer to stop running the current program so that a new one can be started or a circuit that carries such a signal.
An example of an interrupt is a signal to stop Microsoft Word so that a PowerPoint presentation can gear up.
- Interrupt is defined as to stop or cause something to stop for a period of time.
An example of to interrupt is to cut off a person while she is speaking.
This woman does not want you to interrupt.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- to break into or in upon (a discussion, train of thought, etc.)
- to break in upon (a person) who is speaking, working, etc.; stop or hinder
- to make a break in the continuity of; cut off; obstruct
Origin: Middle English interrupten from Classical Latin interruptus, past participle of interrumpere, to break apart, break off from inter-, between plush rumpere, to break: see rupture
- interruptive adjective
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb in·ter·rupt·ed, in·ter·rupt·ing, in·ter·rupts verb, transitive
- To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.
- To hinder or stop the action or discourse of (someone) by breaking in on: The baby interrupted me while I was on the phone.
- A signal to a computer that stops the execution of a running program so that another action can be performed.
- A circuit that conveys a signal stopping the execution of a running program.
Origin: 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.
- inˌter·ruptˈi·ble adjective
- inˌter·rupˈtion noun
- inˌter·rupˈtive adjective
interrupt - Computer Definition
A signal that gets the attention of the CPU and is usually generated when I/O is required. For example, hardware interrupts are generated when a key is pressed or when the mouse is moved. Software interrupts are generated by a program requiring disk input or output. An internal timer may continually interrupt the computer several times per second to keep the time of day current or for timesharing purposes. When an interrupt occurs, control is transferred to the operating system, which determines the action to be taken. Interrupts are prioritized; the higher the priority, the faster the interrupt will be serviced.
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