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What is the difference between intercept and intersect? Can they be used interchangeably? For example, intersecting lines and intercepting lines.

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Intercept seems more appropriate as a noun (e.g. "Find the x-intercepts of f(x)"). Intersect seems more appropriate as a verb (e.g. "Find where f interests the x-axis") – The Chaz 2.0 Oct 18 '12 at 5:45

There is a temporal element to intercept which is absent from intersect: if two paths are generated respectively by two particles moving through space, the paths may intersect; however, one particle only intercepts the other if both arrive at the point of intersection simultaneously.

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The words "intercept" and "intersect" sound very similar but mean different things.

"Intersect" is a binary (two-valued) qualitative property of two or more sets and means that they have points in common, e.g., curves cross or areas overlap etc. Those points in common are called their "intersection." So, for example, every pair of sides of a triangle "intersect" at a point called the vertex of the triangle. In fact the word "vertex" REFERS to the point where two sides of a triangle meet. So as The Chaz commented, "intersect" is a verb.

On the other hand, an "intercept" is a quantitative property of of a curve. It refers to a specific point where the curve INTERSECTS one of the axes of the coordinate system, the particular axis lending its name to identify the intercept, such as "x intercept," etc. So an "intercept" is a particular intersection, usually referring to that point of a curve that is in common (crosses or first touches) another curve, usually a coordinate system axis.

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Technically intersection is defined as, it is a meeting point of two variabled curve which varied as time ie, the equations of curves will vary.
But in case of intercept, one curve equation is constant and other is varied as its bounded area.

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I have edited your post to correct grammar at least in places, where I know what words you wanted to use. But I have to admit that I do not understand what you are trying to say. – Martin Sleziak Mar 22 '14 at 11:40

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