- 1 [intransitive, transitive] to say or do something that makes somebody stop what they are saying or doing Sorry to interrupt, but there's someone to see you. interrupt with something Would you mind not interrupting with questions all the time? interrupt somebody/something (with something) I hope I'm not interrupting you. They were interrupted by a knock at the door. interrupt (somebody) + speech ‘I have a question,’ she interrupted. Express YourselfInterruptingYou may need to say something when somebody else is speaking, or you may be chairing a discussion where you have to stop one person talking too much. If you start talking at the same time as someone else, this will seem rude. To interrupt politely, you can say, for example: Sorry to interrupt, but I have to disagree with that. Could I just say something here? If I could, let me stop you there for a moment and go back to your previous point. Actually, we seem to have strayed a bit from the topic. Can we go back to the first point? Just a moment, Sue. Can we hear what Jack has to say on this? May I interrupt you there? I don't think that's true. (formal) I’m sorry, but we’re running short on time. Can you please summarize very quickly so we can finish up? (formal) I appreciate your enthusiasm on this topic, but I’m afraid we have a couple more people to hear from. (formal) Could you two please discuss that issue privately after the meeting? We have several more items to cover and need to move on at this point. (formal) I’m sorry, I really have to stop you there. We've run out of time. (formal) Let’s save that conversation for another time.
- 2 [transitive] interrupt something to stop something for a short time The game was interrupted several times by rain. We interrupt this programme to bring you an important news bulletin.
- 3[transitive] interrupt something to stop a line, surface, view, etc. from being even or continuous Word Originlate Middle English: from Latin interrupt- ‘broken, interrupted’, from the verb interrumpere, from inter- ‘between’ + rumpere ‘to break’.Extra examples ‘He’s kidding,’ I interrupted hastily. I didn’t manage to finish the report. I kept getting interrupted. I thought it better not to interrupt her with any comment. I’m sorry to interrupt, but there’s a telephone call for you. It was all irrelevant, but I didn’t dare interrupt him in mid-flow. The morning’s work was constantly interrupted by phone calls. Their luncheon was brutally interrupted by gunfire. What was I saying, before we were so rudely interrupted? ‘What’s his name?’ John interrupted. I hope I’m not interrupting you. I’ve forgotten what you were saying, before we were so rudely interrupted. Please stop interrupting all the time! Sh! You’re always interrupting me! Sorry to interrupt your dinner. They were interrupted by a knock on the door. Transport services were constantly interrupted by air raids.
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BrE BrE//ˌɪntəˈrʌpt//; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪntəˈrʌpt//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they interrupt
BrE BrE//ˌɪntəˈrʌpt//; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪntəˈrʌpt//he / she / it interrupts
BrE BrE//ˌɪntəˈrʌpts//; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪntəˈrʌpts//past simple interrupted
BrE BrE//ˌɪntəˈrʌptɪd//; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪntəˈrʌptɪd//past participle interrupted
BrE BrE//ˌɪntəˈrʌptɪd//; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪntəˈrʌptɪd//-ing form interrupting
BrE BrE//ˌɪntəˈrʌptɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˌɪntəˈrʌptɪŋ//