dis·​con·​ti·​nu·​ity | \ (ˌ)dis-ˌkän-tə-ˈnü-ə-tē How to pronounce discontinuity (audio) , -ˈnyü-\

Definition of discontinuity

1 : lack of continuity or cohesion
3a : the property of being not mathematically continuous a point of discontinuity
b : an instance of being not mathematically continuous especially : a value of an independent variable at which a function is not continuous

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Examples of discontinuity in a Sentence

There is a sense of discontinuity between the book's chapters. microscopic discontinuities in the connecting wires

Recent Examples on the Web

These waves can reflect off sharp discontinuities in particle concentrations and interfere with themselves and one another, creating a chaotic-looking geography. Carolyn Porco, Scientific American, "Cassini at Saturn: A Retrospective," 1 Oct. 2017 That has led to a false discontinuity in the broader view of black freedom struggles. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "When the Revolution Was Televised," 1 Apr. 2018 There is a discontinuity with the governance and (CONI) gave them a full mandate. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Italian Olympic committee name commissioner for troubled FIGC," 1 Feb. 2018 Chan said Singapore’s key policies are formed by the leadership team, and apart from the personality and style of the next premier, the direction won’t change dramatically to cause disruption or discontinuity. Keith Zhai, Bloomberg.com, "Singapore's Chan Says Finding New Leaders Is Next Challenge," 31 Oct. 2017 In other words, did Trump represent continuity or discontinuity? Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Republican Roots of Trumpism," 24 Oct. 2017 In the media world, as in so many other realms, there is a sharp discontinuity in the timeline: before the 2016 election, and after. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "What Facebook Did to American Democracy," 12 Oct. 2017 Even more so than statistical models and projections, fossils and discontinuities in ancient rock layers tell us a gripping tale of what lies ahead of us. Manu Saadia, Ars Technica, "The Ends of the World is a page-turner about mass extinction," 4 Sep. 2017 The author elects to tell the story in first person present tense, a choice that adds a choppy, staccato feel to things and also underlines some of the narrative discontinuities that creep into the text along the way. Eli Gottlieb, chicagotribune.com, "In 'Shtum,' parents wreck their home to find a better one for their autistic son.," 30 May 2017

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

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for discontinuity

The first known use of discontinuity was in 1570

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English Language Learners Definition of discontinuity

: the quality or state of not being continuous : lack of continuity
: a change or break in a process

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More from Merriam-Webster on discontinuity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discontinuity

Spanish Central: Translation of discontinuity

Nglish: Translation of discontinuity for Spanish Speakers

Comments on discontinuity

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