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Synonym Chooser

How is the word continual different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of continual are constant, continuous, incessant, perennial, and perpetual. While all these words mean "characterized by continued occurrence or recurrence," continual often implies a close prolonged succession or recurrence.

continual showers the whole weekend

In what contexts can constant take the place of continual?

While in some cases nearly identical to continual, constant implies uniform or persistent occurrence or recurrence.

lived in constant pain

When could continuous be used to replace continual?

The meanings of continuous and continual largely overlap; however, continuous usually implies an uninterrupted flow or spatial extension.

football's oldest continuous rivalry

When might incessant be a better fit than continual?

The words incessant and continual are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, incessant implies ceaseless or uninterrupted activity.

annoyed by the incessant quarreling

When is perennial a more appropriate choice than continual?

Although the words perennial and continual have much in common, perennial implies enduring existence often through constant renewal.

a perennial source of controversy

When is it sensible to use perpetual instead of continual?

The synonyms perpetual and continual are sometimes interchangeable, but perpetual suggests unfailing repetition or lasting duration.

a land of perpetual snowfall

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Cite this Entry

“Continual.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/continual. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

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