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1. Recurring regularly or frequently: continual improvements in technology.
2. Not interrupted; steady: a process that requires continual monitoring.

con·tin′u·al·ly adv.
Synonyms: continual, continuous, ceaseless, constant, incessant, perpetual, eternal, perennial
These adjectives mean occurring without stopping or occurring repeatedly over a long period of time. Continual is often restricted to what is intermittent or repeated at intervals: The continual banging of the shutter in the wind gave me a headache. But it can also imply a lack of interruption, the focus of continuous and ceaseless: The fugitive was living in a state of continual fear. The police put the house under continuous surveillance. We listened to the ceaseless babble of the stream. Constant stresses steadiness or persistence and unvarying nature: The constant ticking of the clock lulled him to sleep. Incessant adds to constant the suggestion of annoying repetition: The dog's incessant barking kept him up all night. Perpetual emphasizes both steadiness and duration: One side of the moon is in perpetual darkness. Eternal refers to what is everlasting, especially to what is seemingly without temporal beginning or end: "That freedom can be retained only by the eternal vigilance which has always been its price" (Elmer Davis).
Perennial describes existence that goes on year after year, often with the suggestion of self-renewal: The candidates discussed the perennial problem of urban poverty.


1. recurring frequently, esp at regular intervals
2. occurring without interruption; continuous in time
[C14: from Old French continuel, from Latin continuus uninterrupted, from continēre to hold together, contain]
conˌtinuˈality, conˈtinualness n
conˈtinually adv


(kənˈtɪn yu əl)

1. of regular or frequent recurrence; often repeated; very frequent: continual bus departures.
2. happening without interruption or cessation; continuous in time.
[1300–50; Middle English continuel < Middle French < Medieval Latin continuālis = Latin continu(us) continuous + -ālis -al1]
con•tin`u•al′i•ty, con•tin′u•al•ness, n.
con•tin′u•al•ly, adv.
usage: Although the words are used interchangeably in all kinds of speech and writing, some usage guides advise that continual be used only to mean “intermittent” and continuous only to mean “uninterrupted.” To avoid confusion, some writers use instead the terms intermittent (intermittent losses of power during the storm) and uninterrupted (uninterrupted reception during the storm) or similar expressions. continuous is never interchangeable with continual in the sense of spatial relationship: a continuous (not continual) series of passages.



You can use constant, continual, and continuous to describe things that happen or exist without stopping.

1. 'constant'

You describe something as constant when it happens all the time or never goes away.

He was in constant pain.
I'm getting tired of Eva's constant criticism.
2. 'continual' and 'continuous'

Continual is usually used to describe something that happens often over a period of time. If something is continuous, it happens all the time without stopping, or seems to do so. For example, if you say 'There was continual rain', you mean that it rained often. If you say 'There was continuous rain', you mean that it did not stop raining.

Continual can only be used in front of a noun. Don't use it after a verb. Continuous can be used either in front of a noun or after a linking verb.

There have been continual demands to cut costs.
He still smoked despite the continual warnings of his nurse.
There was a continuous background noise.
Breathing should be slow and continuous.

If you are describing something undesirable which continues to happen or exist without stopping, it is better to use continual rather than continuous.

Life is a continual struggle.
She was in continual pain.
3. 'continual' or 'continuous'

If you are describing something undesirable which continues to happen or exist without stopping, it is better to use continual rather than continuous.

Life is a continual struggle.
It was sad to see her the victim of continual pain.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.continual - occurring without interruption; chiefly restricted to what recurs regularly or frequently in a prolonged and closely spaced series; "the continual banging of the shutters"
sporadic - recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances; "a city subjected to sporadic bombing raids"
2.continual - `continual' (meaning seemingly uninterrupted) is often used interchangeably with `continuous' (meaning without interruption)
continuous, uninterrupted - continuing in time or space without interruption; "a continuous rearrangement of electrons in the solar atoms results in the emission of light"- James Jeans; "a continuous bout of illness lasting six months"; "lived in continuous fear"; "a continuous row of warehouses"; "a continuous line has no gaps or breaks in it"; "moving midweek holidays to the nearest Monday or Friday allows uninterrupted work weeks"



مُتَواصِلمُتَواصِل، مُتَتابِع
sífelldur, síendurtekinn
liên tục


[kənˈtɪnjʊəl] ADJ (= continuous) → continuo; (= persistent) → constante


[kənˈtɪnjʊəl] adj [use] → continuel(le); [process, improvement] → continuel(le); [pressure, demands, pain] → continuel(le)


adj (= frequent)dauernd, ständig; (= unceasing)ununterbrochen, pausenlos


[kənˈtɪnjʊəl] adjcontinuo/a


(kənˈtinjuː) verb
1. to go on being, doing etc; to last or keep on. She continued to run; They continued running; He will continue in his present job; The noise continued for several hours; The road continues for 150 kilometres.
2. to go on (with) often after a break or pause. He continued his talk after the interval; This story is continued on p.53.
conˈtinual adjective
very frequent; repeated many times. continual interruptions.
conˈtinually adverb
conˌtinuˈation noun
1. the act of continuing, often after a break or pause. the continuation of his studies.
2. something which carries on, especially a further part of a story etc. This is a continuation of what he said last week.
ˌcontiˈnuity (kon-) noun
1. the state of being continuous or logically related. It is important to children to have some continuity in their education.
2. the detailed arrangement of the parts of a story etc for a film script etc.
a continuity girl.
conˈtinuous adjective
joined together, or going on, without interruption. a continuous series; continuous rain; continuous movement.
conˈtinuously adverb
It rained continuously all day.

continual means frequent, again and again.
continuous means non-stop, without interruption.


مُتَواصِل neustálý vedvarende ununterbrochen συχνός continuo jatkuva continuel neprekidan continuo 継続的な 연속적인 aanhoudend ustanselig ciągły contínuo постоянный ständig ต่อเนื่อง sürekli liên tục 连续的


adj continuo, habitual
References in classic literature ?
She was very quiet but beneath a placid exterior a continual ferment went on.
And yet, her undying faith and trust, her freshremembrance, and continual devotedness towards the original of that miniature, have been the only substance for her heart to feed upon.
His pervading and continual hope -- a hallucination, which, in the face of all discouragement, and making light of impossibilities, haunts him while he lives, and, I fancy, like the convulsive throes of the cholera, torments him for a brief space after death -- is, that finally, and in no long time, by some happy coincidence of circumstances, he shall be restored to office.
Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie.
This ended, in prolonged solemn tones, like the continual tolling of a bell in a ship that is foundering at sea in a fog --in such tones he commenced reading the following hymn; but changing his manner towards the concluding stanzas, burst forth with a pealing exultation and joy -- The ribs and terrors in the whale, Arched over me a dismal gloom, While all God's sun-lit waves rolled by, And lift me deepening down to doom.
The whale was now going head out, and sending his spout before him in a continual tormented jet; while his one poor fin beat his side in an agony of fright.
So Marija lived in a continual dread lest something should happen to her bank, and would go out of her way mornings to make sure that it was still there.
His coarse, strong nature craved, and could endure, a continual stimulation, that would have utterly wrecked and crazed a finer one.
What they regarded as the merry tale went the continual round and caused no more embarrassment than it would have caused in the best English society twelve centuries later.
The road was smooth; it led up and over and down a continual succession of hills; but it was narrow, the horses were used to it, and could not well get out of it anyhow; so why shouldn't the drivers entertain themselves and us?
Miranda went so far as to say that she wouldn't mind if the Burches came every once in a while, but she was afraid he'd spread abroad the fact of his visit, and missionaries' families would be underfoot the whole continual time.
Elton was in continual raptures, and defended it through every criticism.