[ kuhn-tin-yoo ]
/ k蓹n藞t瑟n yu /
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See synonyms for: continue / continued / continues / continuing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), con路tin路ued, con路tin路u路ing.
verb (used with object), con路tin路ued, con路tin路u路ing.
Should you take this quiz on 鈥渟hall鈥 versus 鈥渟hould鈥? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of continue

1300鈥50; Middle English (<Anglo-French ) <Latin continu膩re to make all one, verbal derivative of continuuscontinuous

synonym study for continue

3. Continue, endure, persist, persevere, last, remain imply existing uninterruptedly for an appreciable length of time. Continue implies duration or existence without break or interruption. Endure, used of people or things, implies persistent continuance against influences that tend to weaken, undermine, or destroy. Persist and persevere, used principally of people, both imply firm and steadfast continuance in the face of opposition. Persist suggests human opposition: He persisted after he had been warned; and persevere suggests opposition from any source, often an impersonal one: He persevered despite fatigue. Last often applies to something that holds out to a desired end, fresh, unimpaired, or unexhausted, sometimes under conditions that tend to produce the opposite effect: They had provisions enough to last all winter. Remain is especially applied to what continues without change in its essential state: He remained a bachelor.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


Where does聽continue come from?

Continue entered English around 1300鈥50. Coming into English through French, continue ultimately comes from the Latin continu膩re, meaning 鈥渢o make all one, join together, connect.鈥 This verb could also mean, much like its English derivative, 鈥渢o carry on, draw out, prolong, last鈥濃攖hat is, to continue.

The Latin verb continu膩re is formed from the adjective continuus. Does continuus look familiar? It鈥檚 the direct source of the English continuous, meaning 鈥渦ninterrupted in time; without cessation鈥 or 鈥渂eing in immediate connection or spatial relationship.鈥

The Latin adjective continuus meant 鈥渦ninterrupted, unbroken, continuous.鈥 That鈥檚 right: continuus meant, well, continuous. Sometimes, there is a great a deal of continuity in word development.

But we鈥檙e not done yet. The Latin continuus is itself ultimately based on another verb, contin膿re, 鈥渢o hold or keep together.鈥 So, something that continues鈥攖hat is, it goes on, keeps on, or endures in some way鈥攕tays all held together, in an etymological manner of speaking.

Dig deeper

We noted above that continue is ultimately connected to contin膿re, 鈥渢o hold together.鈥 Contin膿re is the source of some other familiar English words, including contain, continent, and content. Does knowing that all these words come from a verb meaning 鈥渢o hold together鈥 give you any deeper insights into these words?

For all this talk of holding things together, we can, er, continue breaking apart the roots of the Latin verb contin膿re. It is composed of con, a productive prefix with the sense of 鈥渨ith, together,鈥 and ten膿re, 鈥渢o hold.鈥

Derivations of ten膿re appears in a great many English words, including detain, detention, entertain, tenacious, tenant, tenet, retain, retention, sustain, and sustenance.

But don鈥檛 be fooled. While detain is related to detention and retain to retention, contain is not related to contention, or 鈥渟trife, contest, controversy.鈥 Contention is derived from the same Latin root that gives English contend.

Did you know ... ?

English has several nouns related to the verb continue. While their senses often overlap, they also have subtle and important differences. Explore more at our entries for the words:

How to use continue in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for continue

/ (k蓹n藞t瑟nju藧) /

verb -ues, -uing or -ued
(when tr, may take an infinitive) to remain or cause to remain in a particular condition, capacity, or place
(when tr, may take an infinitive) to carry on uninterruptedly (a course of action); persist in (something)he continued running
(when tr, may take an infinitive) to resume after an interruptionwe'll continue after lunch
to draw out or be drawn out; prolong or be prolongedcontinue the chord until it meets the tangent
(tr) law, mainly Scot to postpone or adjourn (legal proceedings)

Derived forms of continue

continuable, adjectivecontinuer, nouncontinuingly, adverb

Word Origin for continue

C14: from Old French continuer, from Latin continu膩re to join together, from continuus continuous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012