interrupt

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.