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 Is there any discontinuity between being deeply religious in a place like Harvard? Oliver Staley, Quartz, "A previously unpublished interview with Clayton Christensen about business, God, and Star Wars," 25 Jan. 2020 At this degree of sensitivity, fingertips can find discontinuities the mind may not be able to brook. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "The Unbearable Softness of Engineered Fabrics," 21 Jan. 2020 Michel Foucault believed that notions of rupture or discontinuity would eventually displace conventional themes of linear progress. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Why Historical Analogy Matters," 7 Jan. 2020 Given the scandal wiped more than 40% off the bank’s shares this year and triggered the exit of the previous CEO, discontinuity wouldn’t have hurt. Washington Post, "Picking a Bank CEO in Europe. How Hard Can it Be?," 2 Sep. 2019 Disruption and discontinuity in European history were therefore guaranteed. K.n.c., The Economist, "The radical politics of futurists and fascists—and us, here, today," 19 July 2019 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

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of discontinuity was in 1570

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Statistics for discontinuity

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Discontinuity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discontinuity. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for discontinuity


How to pronounce discontinuity (audio)

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

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