con·​tin·​ue | \kən-ˈtin-(ˌ)yü \
continued; continuing

Definition of continue 

intransitive verb

1 : to maintain without interruption a condition, course, or action The boat continued downstream.

2 : to remain in existence : endure The tradition continues to this day.

3 : to remain in a place or condition : stay We cannot continue here much longer.

4 : to resume an activity after interruption We'll continue after lunch.

transitive verb

1a : keep up, maintain continues walking

b : to keep going or add to : prolong continue the battle also : to resume after intermission

2 : to cause to continue chose not to continue her subscription

3 : to allow to remain in a place or condition : retain The trustees were continued.

4 : to postpone (a legal proceeding) by a continuance

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Other Words from continue

continuer \kən-​ˈtin-​yü-​ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for continue

continue, last, endure, abide, persist mean to exist over a period of time or indefinitely. continue applies to a process going on without ending. the search for peace will continue last, especially when unqualified, may stress existing beyond what is normal or expected. buy shoes that will last endure adds an implication of resisting destructive forces or agencies. in spite of everything, her faith endured abide implies stable and constant existing especially as opposed to mutability. a love that abides through 40 years of marriage persist suggests outlasting the normal or appointed time and often connotes obstinacy or doggedness. the sense of guilt persisted

Examples of continue in a Sentence

The team will continue with their drills until the coach is satisfied with their performance. The world's population continues to grow. The traditions will continue only as long as the next generations keep them alive. The good weather continued for several days. The lecture continued for another hour after we left. Exit the highway, take a right off the ramp, then continue down the street until you get to the first traffic light. Continue along this path until you come to the end. The plot gets more and more intricate as the story continues.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Now that she's opened up about motherhood, don't expect McAdams to continue spilling details about her child. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rachel McAdams Opens Up About Being a Mom for the First Time," 28 Nov. 2018 Senate Democrats filed a lawsuit to block Matt Whitaker from continuing on as acting attorney general; Houthi rebels will halt firing rockets in hopes of entering peace talks with Saudi Arabia. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Vox Sentences: The Whitaker saga continues," 20 Nov. 2018 Still, learning to balance her baby and her career hasn't stopped Cardi from continuing to dominate the music industry. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Cardi B Says She's 'Very Depressed' That She Can't Stop Losing Weight Since Giving Birth," 16 Nov. 2018 While prices on 2018 models may continue their slide through the first quarter of 2019, a low price on the wrong vehicle is a bad compromise. Matt Jones, The Seattle Times, "Edmunds: Black Friday isn’t what it used to be in car sales," 14 Nov. 2018 For now, Ribas and his team will continue to monitor the wobbles of Barnard’s star to further strengthen their claim — one that now aligns with numerous works of science fiction. Loren Grush, The Verge, "A cold ‘super-Earth’ may live around a nearby star," 14 Nov. 2018 China will continue to catch up against the U.S. in terms of building products and monetizing. Yun-hee Kim, WSJ, "China’s Race to Dominate AI," 12 Nov. 2018 Still, the companies will continue to be separate brands. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Icelandair to Buy WOW Air (and Change How We Fly to Iceland)," 5 Nov. 2018 Some of the room’s furnishings continued the theme, such as a sofa upholstered in frosty Lee Jofa flowers and a rattan chandelier. Sara Ruffin Costello, ELLE Decor, "A New Orleans Manse is Given New Life with a Fashionable Pizzazz," 26 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'continue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of continue

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for continue

Middle English, from Anglo-French continuer, from Latin continuare, from continuus — see continual

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Statistics for continue

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for continue

The first known use of continue was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for continue



English Language Learners Definition of continue

: to do something without stopping : to keep doing something in the same way as before

: to stay in a job or position

: to keep happening or existing : to remain active or in existence without changing or stopping


con·​tin·​ue | \kən-ˈtin-yü \
continued; continuing

Kids Definition of continue

1 : to do or cause to do the same thing without changing or stopping The weather continued hot and sunny.

2 : to begin again after stopping After you left, I continued working.


transitive verb
continued; continuing

Legal Definition of continue 

: to postpone (a legal proceeding) to a future day

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More from Merriam-Webster on continue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for continue

Spanish Central: Translation of continue

Nglish: Translation of continue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of continue for Arabic Speakers

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