continuous [kuh n-tin-yoo-uh s] Word Origin adjective
- 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 7).
Origin of continuous 1635–45; Latin continuus uninterrupted, equivalent to contin(ēre) to hold together, retain (con- con- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold; cf. contain) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; cf. -ous, contiguous Related formscon·tin·u·ous·ly, adverbcon·tin·u·ous·ness, nounnon·con·tin·u·ous, adjectivenon·con·tin·u·ous·ly, adverbnon·con·tin·u·ous·ness, nounqua·si-con·tin·u·ous, adjectivequa·si-con·tin·u·ous·ly, adverbsem·i·con·tin·u·ous, adjectivesem·i·con·tin·u·ous·ly, adverbun·con·tin·u·ous, adjectiveun·con·tin·u·ous·ly, adverbCan be confusedcontinual continuous intermittent (see usage note at continual)Usage note See continual. British Dictionary definitions for quasicontinuous continuous adjective
- 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 Formscontinuously, adverbcontinuousness, nounWord Origin for continuous C17: from Latin continuus, from continēre to hold together, contain usage 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 Word Origin and History for quasicontinuous continuous adj.
1640s, from French continueus or directly from Latin continuus “uninterrupted, hanging together” (see continue). Related: Continuously.
quasicontinuous in Medicine continuous [kən-tĭn′yōō-əs] adj.
- Uninterrupted in time, sequence, substance, or extent.
- Attached together in repeated units.
quasicontinuous in Science 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.