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 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, "Surprise! Earth Has a Secret Hidden Layer," 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, "Should The Rally Continue In Alaska Air Group Stock?," 26 Feb. 2021 The variation in the scaling of each section implies a sense of discontinuity, but also the same spirit of cartographic empiricism that speaks through the wider statistical maps of the 19th century. Popular Science, "Infographics have helped keep us alive for centuries," 7 Sep. 2020 There is a yawning discontinuity between zero size and any finite object. Quanta Magazine, "Why Our Perpetual Energy Puzzle Fails," 22 May 2020 And the candidate of radical discontinuity prevailed in the general election. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "LISTEN TO THIS ARTICLE," 29 Apr. 2020 Dystopic discontinuity, though, turns out not to be her theme at all. Ruth Franklin, The Atlantic, "The Art of Second Chances," 16 Mar. 2020 In 2016, a sharp discontinuity appeared in Chandra’s X-ray maps of the Ophiuchus cluster. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "This Black Hole Blew a Hole in the Cosmos," 6 Mar. 2020 But there is no sense of discontinuity in this juxtaposition of the personal and professional. Langdon Hammer, The New York Review of Books, "Letters: Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Art Form or Something’," 25 Feb. 2020

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

25 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discontinuity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discontinuity. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for discontinuity



English Language Learners Definition of discontinuity

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

More from Merriam-Webster on discontinuity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discontinuity

Nglish: Translation of discontinuity for Spanish Speakers

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