# continuous

[ kuh n-tin-yoo-uh s ]

/ kənˈtɪn yu əs /

### adjective

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.

Grammar. progressive(def 7).

## RELATED CONTENT

Continually vs. ContinuouslyToday we’re going to explore the meanings and uses of the adverbs continually and continuously. These terms, along with their adjective forms continual and continuous, are often used interchangeably in speech and writing, but style guides urge writers to practice discernment when using continually and continuously. In formal contexts, continually should be used to mean “very often; at regular or frequent intervals,” and continuously to …

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## Nearby words

## 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

## Related forms

## Can be confused

continual continuous intermittent (see usage note at continual)## Usage note

See continual.

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Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

## Examples from the Web for continuous

## British Dictionary definitions for continuous

## continuous

/ (kənˈtɪnjʊəs) /

### adjective

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

continuously, adverbcontinuousness, noun## Word Origin for continuous

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

## usage

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
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Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

## Medicine definitions for continuous

## continuous

[ kən-tĭn′yōō-əs ]

### adj.

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.

## Science definitions for continuous

## continuous

[ kən-tĭn′yōō-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.