[kuh n-tin-yoo-uh m]

noun, plural con·tin·u·a [kuh n-tin-yoo-uh] /kənˈtɪn yu ə/.

a continuous extent, series, or whole.
  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.

Origin of continuum

1640–50; < Latin, noun use of neuter of continuus continuous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for continuum

Contemporary Examples of continuum

Historical Examples of continuum

  • It replaces the world of the continuum by a world of discrete states.

  • All intervening nature is the continuum of two good and wise men.

    Anima Poet

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • How, moreover, can Magnitude, and a Continuum arise out of that which has no Magnitude?


    George Grote

  • Number cannot, either as Movent or as Form, produce a Continuum (b. 30).


    George Grote

  • The world line of a ray of light is a geodesic in the continuum.

British Dictionary definitions for continuum


noun plural -tinua (-ˈtɪnjʊə) or -tinuums

a continuous series or whole, no part of which is perceptibly different from the adjacent parts

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 continuum

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper