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in·ter·cept (ĭntər-sĕpt)
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tr.v. in·ter·cept·ed, in·ter·cept·ing, in·ter·cepts
1. To stop, deflect, or interrupt the progress or intended course of: intercepted me with a message as I was leaving.
2. Sports
a. To gain possession of (an opponent's pass), as in football or basketball.
b. To gain possession of a pass made by (an opponent), especially in football.
3. To slow or prevent (precipitation) from reaching the ground. Used of vegetation.
4. Mathematics
a. To intersect (a coordinate axis).
b. To include or bound (a part of a space or curve) between two points or lines.
5. Archaic To prevent.
6. Obsolete To cut off from access or communication.
n. (ĭntər-sĕpt)
1. Mathematics The point or coordinates at which a line, curve, or surface intersects a coordinate axis.
2.
a. The interception of a missile by another missile or an aircraft by another aircraft.
b. Interception of a radio transmission.
3. An interceptor.

[Middle English intercepten, from Latin intercipere, intercept- : inter-, inter- + capere, to seize; see kap- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

inter·ceptive adj.
(click for a larger image)
intercept
The intercept form of the equation of a line is x/a
+
y/b
=1.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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