[ kuhn-tin-yoo-uhs ]
/ kənˈtɪn yu əs /


uninterrupted in time; without cessation: continuous coughing during the concert.
being in immediate connection or spatial relationship: a continuous series of blasts; a continuous row of warehouses.

Origin of continuous

1635–45; <Latin continuus uninterrupted, equivalent to contin(ēre) to hold together, retain (con-con- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold; cf. contain) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; cf. -ous, contiguous

words often confused with continuous

See continual.



continual, continuous , intermittent(see usage note at continual). Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for continuous

British Dictionary definitions for continuous

/ (kənˈtɪnjʊəs) /


prolonged without interruption; unceasinga continuous noise
in an unbroken series or pattern
maths (of a function or curve) changing gradually in value as the variable changes in value. A function f is continuous if at every value a of the independent variable the difference between f(x) and f(a) approaches zero as x approaches aCompare discontinuous (def. 2) See also limit (def. 5)
statistics (of a variable) having a continuum of possible values so that its distribution requires integration rather than summation to determine its cumulative probabilityCompare discrete (def. 3)
grammar another word for progressive (def. 8)

Derived forms of continuous

continuously, adverbcontinuousness, noun

Word Origin for continuous

C17: from Latin continuus, from continēre to hold together, contain

usage for continuous

Both continual and continuous can be used to say that something continues without interruption, but only continual can correctly be used to say that something keeps happening repeatedly
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

Medical definitions for continuous

[ kən-tĭnyōō-əs ]


Uninterrupted in time, sequence, substance, or extent.
Attached together in repeated units.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for continuous

[ kən-tĭnyōō-əs ]

Relating to a line or curve that extends without a break or irregularity.
A function in which changes, however small, to any x-value result in small changes to the corresponding y-value, without sudden jumps. Technically, a function is continuous at the point c if it meets the following condition: for any positive number ε, however small, there exists a positive number δ such that for all x within the distance δ from c, the value of f(x) will be within the distance ε from f(c). Polynomials, exponential functions, and trigonometric functions are examples of continuous functions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.