continuous

adjective

con·​tin·​u·​ous kən-ˈtin-yü-əs How to pronounce continuous (audio)
1
: marked by uninterrupted extension in space, time, or sequence
The batteries provide enough power for up to five hours of continuous use.
2
of a function : having the property that the absolute value of the numerical difference between the value at a given point and the value at any point in a neighborhood of the given point can be made as close to zero as desired by choosing the neighborhood small enough
continuousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for continuous

continual, continuous, constant, incessant, perpetual, perennial mean characterized by continued occurrence or recurrence.

continual often implies a close prolonged succession or recurrence.

continual showers the whole weekend

continuous usually implies an uninterrupted flow or spatial extension.

football's oldest continuous rivalry

constant implies uniform or persistent occurrence or recurrence.

lived in constant pain

incessant implies ceaseless or uninterrupted activity.

annoyed by the incessant quarreling

perpetual suggests unfailing repetition or lasting duration.

a land of perpetual snowfall

perennial implies enduring existence often through constant renewal.

a perennial source of controversy

Examples of continuous in a Sentence

The album is divided into different tracks, but it is really one continuous song. a continuous line of traffic The batteries provide enough power for up to five hours of continuous use. The phrases “am seeing,” “had been seeing,” and “is being seen” are all in continuous tenses.
Recent Examples on the Web For example, as the investigation following the Air Canada incident highlighted, cockpit voice recorders had continuous loops that tape over themselves after 30 minutes to two hours of flight time, depending on the specific equipment. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial, The Mercury News, 18 May 2024 This year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue commemorates the brand's continuous commitment to women's empowerment. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for continuous 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'continuous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin continuus (from continēre "to hold together, retain, restrain, have as contents" + -uus, deverbal adjective suffix) + -ous — more at contain

First Known Use

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of continuous was in 1673

Dictionary Entries Near continuous

Cite this Entry

“Continuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/continuous. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

continuous

adjective
con·​tin·​u·​ous kən-ˈtin-yə-wəs How to pronounce continuous (audio)
: continuing without a stop
continuously adverb
continuousness noun

Medical Definition

continuous

adjective
con·​tin·​u·​ous kən-ˈtin-yə-wəs How to pronounce continuous (audio)
: marked by uninterrupted extension in space, time, or sequence : continuing without intermission or recurring regularly after minute interruptions
continuous vitamin injections
continuously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on continuous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!