trap

1. A program interrupt, usually an interrupt caused by some exceptional situation in the user program. In most cases, the OS performs some action, then returns control to the program.

2. To cause a trap. "These instructions trap to the monitor." Also used transitively to indicate the cause of the trap. "The monitor traps all input/output instructions."

This term is associated with assembler programming ("interrupt" or "exception" is more common among HLL programmers) and appears to be fading into history among programmers as the role of assembler continues to shrink. However, it is still important to computer architects and systems hackers (see system, sense 1), who use it to distinguish deterministically repeatable exceptions from timing-dependent ones (such as I/O interrupts).

[Jargon File]

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Nearby terms:

Transport Service Access Point « transputer « TRANS-USE « trap » trap door » trap-door function » trash

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