When you intercept a pass in football, you grab the ball that your opponent had thrown to a member of his own team. To intercept is to stop something from reaching its intended destination.

If a national intelligence agency intercepts a telephone call being sent from one terrorist cell to another, they stop the message and also learn a bit about what's going on in the terrorist world. If you're planning a surprise party for your friend and she arrives a half hour early, you might run to intercept her while everyone rushes to hide.

Primary Meanings of intercept

seize on its way
the point at which a line intersects a coordinate axis
Full Definitions of intercept

v seize on its way

“The fighter plane was ordered to intercept an aircraft that had entered the country's airspace”
cut off, cut out
cut off and stop
Type of:
catch, grab, take hold of
take hold of so as to seize or restrain or stop the motion of

v tap a telephone or telegraph wire to get information

bug, tap, wiretap
Type of:
eavesdrop, listen in
listen without the speaker's knowledge

n the point at which a line intersects a coordinate axis

Type of:
a geometric element that has position but no extension

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