continuum

noun
con·​tin·​u·​um | \kən-ˈtin-yü-əm \
plural continua\kən-​ˈtin-​yü-​ə \ also continuums

Definition of continuum 

1 : a coherent whole characterized as a collection, sequence, or progression of values or elements varying by minute degrees "good" and "bad" … stand at opposite ends of a continuum instead of describing the two halves of a line— Wayne Shumaker

2 : the set of real numbers including both the rationals and the irrationals broadly : a compact set which cannot be separated into two sets neither of which contains a limit point of the other

Examples of continuum in a Sentence

His motives for volunteering lie somewhere on the continuum between charitable and self-serving. a continuum of temperatures ranging from very cold to very hot

Recent Examples on the Web

An animal’s niche is part of a continuum, with lots and lots of dimensions. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "The evolutionary mystery of gigantic human brains," 23 Aug. 2018 Through a broad continuum of training and education, youth collaboration, and advocacy programs, the True Colors Fund is creating a world where all young people can be their true selves. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "AEG & Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Team Up to Battle LGBTQ Youth Homelessness," 5 June 2018 Texas Home Health is part of the AccentCare family, which offers a broad continuum of care services to meet a wide variety of patient and client needs. Jennifer Kimrey, Houston Chronicle, "Texas Home Health seeking health care professionals," 27 May 2018 The Obama Foundation Fellowship selected Kang to keep up his civic engagement by building a comprehensive continuum of care for those with opiate addiction. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "'There is hope.' Mercy Health psychologist gets Obama fellowship for addiction work," 24 Apr. 2018 Over the course of our careers, many of us loop around this continuum several times. Kathryn Crawford Saxer, The Seattle Times, "Happy or not, you must always be planning your next career move," 3 Aug. 2018 Drake has built himself into a network of networks, into a continuum. Jason Parham, WIRED, "With Scorpion, #DrakeSZN Is Back—as Overwrought as Ever," 2 July 2018 But the Court has not always had a clean and consistent unidimensional continuum. Akhil Reed Amar, Time, "What Justice Kennedy's Legacy Could Mean for the Future of the Supreme Court," 29 June 2018 There is truly no distinction between our conscious and subconscious minds — these states simply coexist on the continuum of life. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Is Lucid Dreaming? Your Guide to Exploring Your Subconscious," 18 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'continuum.' 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 continuum

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for continuum

Latin, neuter of continuus — see continuous

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Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for continuum

The first known use of continuum was in 1646

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More Definitions for continuum

continuum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of continuum

: a range or series of things that are slightly different from each other and that exist between two different possibilities

More from Merriam-Webster on continuum

Britannica English: Translation of continuum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about continuum

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