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1. [techspeak] n. On a computer, an event that interrupts normal processing and temporarily diverts flow-of-control through an "interrupt handler" routine.

See also trap.

2. interj. A request for attention from a hacker. Often explicitly spoken.

"Interrupt -- have you seen Joe recently?"

See priority interrupt.

3. Under MS-DOS, the term 'interrupt' is nearly synonymous with 'system call', because the OS and BIOS routines are both called using the INT instruction (see interrupt list, the) and because programmers so often have to bypass the OS (going directly to a BIOS interrupt) to get reasonable performance.