[ kuhn-tin-yoo-uhs ]
/ kənˈtɪn yu əs /
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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. 8).
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Origin of continuous
First recorded in 1635–45; from Latin continuus “uninterrupted,” equivalent to contin(ēre) “to hold together, retain” (con- con- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre “to hold”; cf. contain) + -uus adjective suffix; cf. -ous, contiguous
words often confused with continuous
OTHER WORDS FROM continuous
con·tin·u·ous·ly, adverbcon·tin·u·ous·ness, nounnon·con·tin·u·ous, adjectivenon·con·tin·u·ous·ness, noun
qua·si-con·tin·u·ous, adjectivesem·i·con·tin·u·ous, adjectiveun·con·tin·u·ous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
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 continuouscontinuously, 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
Scientific definitions for 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.