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[in-ter-feer-uh ns] /ˌɪn tərˈfɪər əns/

an act, fact, or instance of interfering.
something that interferes.
Physics. the process in which two or more light, sound, or electromagnetic waves of the same frequency combine to reinforce or cancel each other, the amplitude of the resulting wave being equal to the sum of the amplitudes of the combining waves.


Aeronautics. the situation that arises when the aerodynamic influence of one surface of an aircraft conflicts with the influence of another surface.

the distorting or inhibiting effect of previously learned behavior on subsequent learning.
Psychology. the forgetting of information or an event due to inability to reconcile it with conflicting information obtained subsequently.
run interference, Informal. to deal with troublesome or time-consuming matters, as for a colleague or supervisor, especially to forestall problems.
the act or an instance of interfering
(physics) the process in which two or more coherent waves combine to form a resultant wave in which the displacement at any point is the vector sum of the displacements of the individual waves. If the individual waves converge the resultant is a system of fringes. Two waves of equal or nearly equal intensity moving in opposite directions combine to form a standing wave
Also called radio interference. any undesired signal that tends to interfere with the reception of radio waves
(aeronautics) the effect on the flow pattern around a body of objects in the vicinity

1783, formed irregularly from interfere on model of difference, etc. Broadcasting and telephoning sense is from 1887. In chess from 1913; in U.S. football from 1894.

interference in·ter·fer·ence (ĭn’tər-fēr’əns)


The disturbance that results when two waves come together at a single point in space; the disturbance is the sum of the contribution of each wave. For example, if two crests of identical waves arrive together, the net disturbance will be twice as large as each incoming wave; if the crest of one wave arrives with the trough of another, there will be no disturbance at all.

Note: One common example of interference is the appearance of dark bands when a light is viewed through a window screen.


Read Also:

  • Interference-drag

    noun, Aeronautics. 1. the drag on an aircraft caused by the interaction of two aerodynamic bodies.

  • Interference fit

    noun 1. (engineering) a match between the size and shape of two parts, such that force is required for assembly as one part is slightly larger than the other

  • Interference-microscope

    noun 1. a microscope that utilizes light interference phenomena to create two superimposed images of an object, making possible the observation of transparent objects without using the staining technique.

  • Interference-pattern

    noun, Physics. 1. a series of alternating dark and bright bands produced as a result of light interference. interference pattern An overall pattern that results when two or more waves interfere with each other, generally showing regions of constructive and of destructive interference. Optical interference patterns are analyzed in devices such as interferometers; the acoustic […]

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