• synonyms


[kuh n-tin-yoo-uh m]
noun, plural con·tin·u·a [kuh n-tin-yoo-uh] /kənˈtɪn yu ə/.
  1. a continuous extent, series, or whole.
  2. Mathematics.
    1. a set of elements such that between any two of them there is a third element.
    2. the set of all real numbers.
    3. any compact, connected set containing at least two elements.
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Origin of continuum

1640–50; < Latin, noun use of neuter of continuus continuous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for continua

continuity, continuance, perpetuity, sequence, continuing

Examples from the Web for continua

Historical Examples of continua

  • Then she's right, because events in the two continua are the same.

    The Right Time

    Walter Bupp

  • Celui-ci continua mon travail de correction et d'émendation.

    Oscar Wilde

    Arthur Ransome

  • The notion thus introduced may be adapted by suitable modifications to continua of lower dimensions in Cn.

  • The locus may largely consist of continua of imaginary points; but the real parts of it constitute a real curve or real curves.

  • We are now in a position to ask the question: Is the matter in a mixture of two continua identical with that of its constituents?

    A Librarian's Open Shelf

    Arthur E. Bostwick

British Dictionary definitions for continua


noun plural -tinua (-ˈtɪnjʊə) or -tinuums
  1. a continuous series or whole, no part of which is perceptibly different from the adjacent parts
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Word Origin for continuum

C17: from Latin, neuter of continuus continuous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for continua



1640s, from Latin continuum "a continuous thing," neuter of continuus (see continue). The plural is continua.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper