AskDefine | Define continuous

Dictionary Definition

continuous adj
1 continuing in time or space without interruption; "a continuous rearrangement of electrons in the solar atoms results in the emission of light"- James Jeans; "a continuous bout of illness lasting six months"; "lived in continuous fear"; "a continuous row of warehouses"; "a continuous line has no gaps or breaks in it"; "moving midweek holidays to the nearest Monday or Friday allows uninterrupted work weeks" [syn: uninterrupted] [ant: discontinuous]
2 of a function or curve; extending without break or irregularity [ant: discontinuous]

User Contributed Dictionary



From continuus, from continere, ‘to hold together’.


  • , /kənˈtɪnjuəs/, /k@n"tInju@s/


  1. Without break, cessation, or interruption; without intervening time.
    • a continuous current of electricity
    • He can hear its continuous murmur. - Longfellow.
  2. Without intervening space; continued; protracted; extended.
    • a continuous line of railroad
  3. Not deviating or varying from uniformity; not interrupted; not joined or articulated.
  4. Of a map, having the mathematical property that has the following formal \epsilon-\delta-definition: Given I,D\subset\mathbb (I and D are subsets of the real numbers), continuity of f(x):I \to D (f(x) maps the interval I to the interval D) at c\in\mathbb means, for all \varepsilon>0, there exists a \delta>0 such that |x-c| and x\in I implies |f(x)-f(c)|.
  5. Expressing an ongoing action or state.

Usage notes

  • Continuous is the stronger word, and denotes that the continuity or union of parts is absolute and uninterrupted; as, a continuous sheet of ice; a continuous flow of water or of argument. So Daniel Webster speaks of "a continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England."
  • Continual, in most cases, marks a close and unbroken succession of things, rather than absolute continuity. Thus we speak of continual showers, implying a repetition with occasional interruptions; we speak of a person as liable to continual calls, or as subject to continual applications for aid, etc.




without break, cessation, or interruption in time
without break, cessation, or interruption in space
in botany
in mathematical analysis
in grammar
  • Hungarian: folyamatos
  • Russian: длительный

Extensive Definition

<div class="noprint" style="clear: right; border: solid #aaa 1px; margin: 0 0 1em 1em; font-size: 90%; background: #f9f9f9; width: 250px; padding: 4px; spacing: 0px; text-align: left; float: right;"> Look up continuity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Continuity may mean:

See also

continuous in French: Continu
continuous in Lithuanian: Tolydumas
continuous in Dutch: Continuïteit
continuous in Portuguese: Continuidade

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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