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

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 Will the next 24 months create a discontinuity compared to the past year? Bernard Fraenkel, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 The book stands or falls on its assertion of a radical discontinuity between the antebellum and postbellum United States, but the author himself gives us evidence of continuity. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2022 The Goon Squad brilliantly hewed to a narrow band of emotions, principally disappointment, regret, shame, and unrequited longing, which were well served by the crosscutting and temporal discontinuity. Mark Greif, The Atlantic, 15 Mar. 2022 Fernando Pessoa’s childhood was filled with discontinuity and shifting identities. Damion Searls, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2021 The project planned to study the Mohorovičić discontinuity, an important boundary layer between Earth's crust and mantle situated at an average depth of 49,000 feet (15,000 meters) beneath the continents. David Bressan, Forbes, 22 May 2021 On the spending side, a UBI (Universal Basic Income) would be a discontinuity—a gigantic step change in the size and type of spending, as well as changing the way the responsibility of government is perceived. Paul Swartz, Fortune, 23 May 2021 At the boundary between the inner and outer core, a.k.a. the Bullen discontinuity, bits of liquid iron and nickel from the outer core interact with material in the inner core and begin to rise. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 10 Mar. 2021 By achieving a similar level of operational efficiency during the pandemic, a strong rally in one creates a price discontinuity in the other. Trefis Team, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of discontinuity

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of discontinuity was in 1570

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Cite this Entry

“Discontinuity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discontinuity. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on discontinuity

Nglish: Translation of discontinuity for Spanish Speakers


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