A chord progression where the dominant chord (V) is followed by a chord other than the tonic chord (I or i), so called because the progression expected by the ear (V-I, the perfect cadence) is 'interrupted' by another chord. The usual form of this cadence is in the progression V-VI, or dominant-submediant; however, V-III and V-IV are not uncommon.

The interrupted cadence is known by a multitude of names in various terminologies, all of them interchangeable. These include: broken cadence, false cadence, deceptive cadence, avoided cadence, abrupt cadence, evaded cadence, irregular cadence, 'surprise' cadence, false close and clausula falsa.