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Arrest vs Check vs Interrupt

Arrest, Check, and Interrupt mean to stop in midcourse.

Arrest implies a holding fixed in the midst of movement, development, or progress and usually a prevention of further advance until someone or something effects a release.

  • arrest the progress of a disease
  • discouragement sometimes arrests a child’s development
  • books that arrest attention

Check (see also RESTRAIN) suggests suddenness and force in stopping as though bringing to a halt sharply or with a jerk.

  • the entrance of the teacher checked the disturbance in the schoolroom
  • he checked himself just as he was about to blurt out his indignation
  • he caught her by the arm as she ran past and . . . without trying to check her, simply darted in with her and up the stairs

Interrupt stresses a breaking in and a consequent stopping, but it carries no clear suggestion that continuation is impossible or improbable.

  • interrupt a lecture with a question
  • their talk was interrupted by the arrival of visitors
  • he was discouragingly interrupted at the point when ideas and words were flowing freely