- lack of continuity; irregularity: The plot of the book was marred by discontinuity.
- a break or gap: The surface of the moon is characterized by major discontinuities.
- Mathematics. a point at which a function is not continuous.
- Geology. a zone deep within the earth where the velocity of earthquake waves changes radically.
Origin of discontinuity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for discontinuity
This discontinuity of area must be taken along with two other facts.The Natural History of the Varieties of Man
Robert Gordon Latham
At any rate, it is somewhat above this discontinuity that magma is formed.The Flaming Mountain
Harold Leland Goodwin
The discontinuity of farm objects on hand virtually rules out the telling of a coherent and complete history of agriculture.
This causes an 'area of discontinuity of flow', or eddy, which results in 'negative pressure', causing an upward suction.
In either case, however, there has been displacement; and the displacement is the inference from the discontinuity.Man and His Migrations
R. G. (Robert Gordon) Latham
- lack of rational connection or cohesion
- a break or interruption
- the property of being discontinuous
- the point or the value of the variable at which a curve or function becomes discontinuous
- a zone within the earth where a sudden change in physical properties, such as the velocity of earthquake waves, occurs. Such a zone marks the boundary between the different layers of the earth, as between the core and mantleSee also Mohorovičić discontinuity
- a surface separating rocks that are not continuous with each other
- A usually uneven surface between two layers of rock or sediment that represents either an interruption in the deposition of the layers, as in an unconformity, or a displacement of one or both layers relative to each other, as in a fault.
- A surface within the Earth across which the velocities of seismic waves change. The discontinuities are located at the boundaries between the Earth's various layers and correspond to changes in the elastic properties of the Earth's materials.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.