1 : continuing indefinitely in time without interruption
2 : recurring in steady usually rapid succession
Did You Know?
Since the mid-19th century, many grammarians have drawn a distinction between continual and continuous. Continual should only mean "occurring at regular intervals," they insist, whereas continuous should be used to mean "continuing without interruption." This distinction overlooks the fact that continual is the older word and was used with both meanings for centuries before continuous appeared on the scene. Today, continual is the more likely of the two to mean "recurring," but it also continues to be used, as it has been since the 14th century, with the meaning "continuing without interruption."
The continual blaring of the car's alarm outside made it very difficult for Jane to focus on her work that morning.
"Cows can drink upwards of 50 gallons of water a day, so making sure the animals have continual access to clean water is a must." — Stephanie Blaszczyk, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 July 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to complete a word that refers to a source of continual supply: w _ l _ s _ r _ n _.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP