a. The act or an instance of hindering, obstructing, or impeding.
b. Something that hinders, obstructs, or impedes.
a. Sports Illegal obstruction or hindrance of an opposing player, such as hindrance of a receiver by a defender in football, hindrance of a fielder by a base runner in baseball, or checking a player not in possession of the puck in ice hockey.
b. Football The legal blocking of defensive tacklers to protect and make way for the ball carrier.
3. Physics The variation of wave amplitude that occurs from the superposition of two or more waves.
a. The inhibition or prevention of clear reception of broadcast signals.
b. The distorted portion of a received signal.
5. The negative or distorting effect that new learning can have on previous learning or that previous learning can have on new learning.
in′ter·fer·ential (-fə-rĕnshəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:
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.