[verb in-tuh-ruhpt; noun in-tuh-ruhpt] /verb ˌɪn təˈrʌpt; noun ˈɪn təˌrʌpt/

verb (used with object)
to cause or make a break in the continuity or uniformity of (a course, process, condition, etc.).
to break off or cause to cease, as in the middle of something:
He interrupted his work to answer the bell.
to stop (a person) in the midst of doing or saying something, especially by an interjected remark:
May I interrupt you to comment on your last remark?
verb (used without object)
to cause a break or discontinuance; interfere with action or speech, especially by interjecting a remark:
Please don’t interrupt.
Computers. a hardware signal that breaks the flow of program execution and transfers control to a predetermined storage location so that another procedure can be followed or a new operation carried out.
to break the continuity of (an action, event, etc) or hinder (a person) by intrusion
(transitive) to cease to perform (some action)
(transitive) to obstruct (a view)
to prevent or disturb (a conversation, discussion, etc) by questions, interjections, or comment
the signal to initiate the stopping of the running of one computer program in order to run another, after which the running of the original program is usually continued

c.1400, “to interfere with a legal right,” from Latin interruptus, past participle of interrumpere “break apart, break off,” from inter- “between” (see inter-) + rumpere “to break” (see rupture (n.), and compare corrupt). Meaning “to break into (a speech, etc.)” is early 15c. Related: Interrupted; interrupting.

1957, originally in computers, from interupt (v.).

1. An asynchronous event that suspends normal processing and temporarily diverts the flow of control through an “interrupt handler” routine.
Interrupts may be caused by both hardware (I/O, timer, machine check) and software (supervisor, system call or trap instruction).
In general the computer responds to an interrupt by storing the information about the current state of the running program; storing information to identify the source of the interrupt; and invoking a first-level interrupt handler. This is usually a kernel level privileged process that can discover the precise cause of the interrupt (e.g. if several devices share one interrupt) and what must be done to keep operating system tables (such as the process table) updated. This first-level handler may then call another handler, e.g. one associated with the particular device which generated the interrupt.
2. Under MS-DOS, nearly synonymous with “system call” because the OS and BIOS routines are both called using the INT instruction (see interrupt list) and because programmers so often have to bypass the operating system (going directly to a BIOS interrupt) to get reasonable performance.
[Jargon File]


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