dis·​con·​tin·​u·​ous | \ ˌdis-kən-ˈtin-yə-wəs How to pronounce discontinuous (audio) , -yü-əs\

Definition of discontinuous

1a(1) : not continuous a discontinuous series of events
(2) : not continued : discrete discontinuous features of terrain
b : lacking sequence or coherence
2 : having one or more mathematical discontinuities used of a variable or a function

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Other Words from discontinuous

discontinuously adverb

Examples of discontinuous in a Sentence

a discontinuous series of events the novel captures the discontinuous nature of a soldier's life: long stretches of boredom interrupted by flashes of chaos and panic
Recent Examples on the Web The maximum wind speed was 85 to 90 mph with a width of 50 yards and a discontinuous path length of 3.2 miles. courant.com, "Showers expected late Friday into early Saturday," 6 Sep. 2019 Many of the papers debate whether this new model constitutes a truly discontinuous phase transition. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "The New Laws of Explosive Networks," 14 July 2015 But scientists have had a hard time describing the origins and sources of these and many other capacities, because there is nothing qualitatively discontinuous that separates our DNA or neurobiology from our great ape relatives. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Becoming Human’ Review: The Defining Neediness of Humans," 11 Jan. 2019 So the internet and what things are on a screen are quick-cut, nonlinear, discontinuous, and flat. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Eighth Grade director Bo Burnham on what most movies get wrong about the internet," 25 Aug. 2018 All six Mary Pages are excellent, handing off, as if in a relay race, the baton of the character’s discontinuous personality. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: ‘Mary Page Marlowe’ Lives an Ordinary, Extraordinary Life," 12 July 2018 Sometimes the eyes in a portrait peer in different directions, evidence of the discontinuous process. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The Lurchingly Uneven Portraits of Paul Cézanne," 21 Feb. 2011 New Orleans is sinking, much like her former home in the discontinuous permafrost zone of Alaska. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Why people return to flawed places with renewed passion," 23 Dec. 2017 As temperatures rise, the boundary between continuous and discontinuous permafrost is expected to migrate north. Yereth Rosen, Alaska Dispatch News, "Landslides, floods, smoke: Prepare for climate change effects in Denali National Park," 1 Sep. 2017

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

1718, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Time Traveler for discontinuous

Time Traveler

The first known use of discontinuous was in 1718

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Statistics for discontinuous

Last Updated

24 Sep 2019

Cite this Entry

“Discontinuous.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discontinuously. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for discontinuous


How to pronounce discontinuous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discontinuous

: not continuous : having interruptions or gaps

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More from Merriam-Webster on discontinuous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discontinuous

Spanish Central: Translation of discontinuous

Nglish: Translation of discontinuous for Spanish Speakers

Comments on discontinuous

What made you want to look up discontinuous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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