con·​tin·​u·​ous kən-ˈtin-yü-əs How to pronounce continuous (audio)
: marked by uninterrupted extension in space, time, or sequence
The batteries provide enough power for up to five hours of continuous use.
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

Example Sentences

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 Building authenticity and trust is a continuous process that takes commitment and consistency. Marie Hattar, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 It will be updated on a continuous basis as new research and best practices are developed. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 3 Nov. 2022 The roads were chosen through a continuous process of evaluating the quality of each road. Paul Gattis |, al, 2 Nov. 2022 Threats against Pelosi are unique While other members of Congress may face episodic threats, Pelosi is the subject of the most violent death threats against any lawmaker, and their volume is both high and continuous, a law enforcement official said. Anchorage Daily News, 2 Nov. 2022 If the other albums feel akin to a short-story collection or set of vivid vignettes, this one is somehow more novel-like, the tone more reflective and continuous. Brandon Taylor, The New Yorker, 17 Oct. 2022 This compact stick vacuum from Shark has (almost) all the convenience of a cordless stick vac with the far more powerful and continuous suction of a full-size corded vacuum. Lauren Joseph, Bon Appétit, 12 Oct. 2022 The continued efforts to deter Russia from doing this have to be ongoing and continuous. CBS News, 5 Oct. 2022 The Bamix features two speeds, and continuous or pulse actions. Elizabeth Briskin, Popular Mechanics, 27 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



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

Medical Definition



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!

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.