[ dis-kuhn-tin-yoo-uhs ]
See synonyms for: discontinuousdiscontinuously on Thesaurus.com

  1. not continuous; broken; interrupted; intermittent: a discontinuous chain of mountains; a discontinuous argument.

  2. Mathematics. (of a function at a point) not continuous at the point.

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Origin of discontinuous

From the Medieval Latin word discontinuus, dating back to 1660–70. See dis-1, continuous

Other words from discontinuous

  • dis·con·tin·u·ous·ly, adverb
  • dis·con·tin·u·ous·ness, noun

Words Nearby discontinuous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use discontinuous in a sentence

  • Sterilise these coupled flasks by the discontinuous method, in the usual manner.

  • Species are definitely discontinuous, and this is the only discontinuity which Nature shows us.

    Form and Function | E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell

British Dictionary definitions for discontinuous


/ (ˌdɪskənˈtɪnjʊəs) /

  1. characterized by interruptions or breaks; intermittent

  2. maths (of a function or curve) changing suddenly in value for one or more values of the variable or at one or more points: Compare continuous (def. 3)

Derived forms of discontinuous

  • discontinuously, adverb
  • discontinuousness, noun

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

Scientific definitions for discontinuous


[ dĭs′kən-tĭnyōō-əs ]

  1. Mathematics Relating to a function that contains one or more points where the function is either discontinuous or undefined.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.