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1. Uninterrupted in time, sequence, substance, or extent. See Synonyms at continual.
2. Attached together in repeated units: a continuous form fed into a printer.
3. Mathematics
a. Of or relating to a line or curve that extends without a break or irregularity.
b. Of or relating to a function between two topological spaces such that the preimage of any open set in the range is an open set in the domain.

[From Latin continuus; see continue.]

con·tin′u·ous·ly adv.
con·tin′u·ous·ness n.


1. prolonged without interruption; unceasing: a continuous noise.
2. in an unbroken series or pattern
3. (Mathematics) maths (of a function or curve) changing gradually in value as the variable changes in value. A function f is continuous if at every value a of the independent variable the difference between f(x) and f(a) approaches zero as x approaches a. Compare discontinuous2 See also limit5
4. (Statistics) statistics (of a variable) having a continuum of possible values so that its distribution requires integration rather than summation to determine its cumulative probability. Compare discrete3
5. (Grammar) grammar another word for progressive8
[C17: from Latin continuus, from continēre to hold together, contain]
conˈtinuously adv
conˈtinuousness n
Usage: Both continual and continuous can be used to say that something continues without interruption, but only continual can correctly be used to say that something keeps happening repeatedly


(kənˈtɪn yu əs)

1. uninterrupted in time; without cessation: continuous noise during the movie.
2. being in immediate connection or spatial relationship: a continuous row of warehouses.
[1635–45; < Latin continuus uninterrupted =contin(ēre) to hold together, retain (see contain) + -uus]
con•tin′u•ous•ly, adv.
con•tin′u•ous•ness, n.
usage: See continual.



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.continuous - continuing in time or space without interruptioncontinuous - 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"
unbroken - marked by continuous or uninterrupted extension in space or time or sequence; "cars in an unbroken procession"; "the unbroken quiet of the afternoon"
noncontinuous, discontinuous - not continuing without interruption in time or space; "discontinuous applause"; "the landscape was a discontinuous mosaic of fields and forest areas"; "he received a somewhat haphazard and discontinuous schooling"
2.continuous - of a function or curve; extending without break or irregularity
math, mathematics, maths - a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement
discontinuous - of a function or curve; possessing one or more discontinuities


adjective constant, continued, extended, prolonged, unbroken, uninterrupted, unceasing Residents reported that they heard continuous gunfire.
broken, periodic, passing, occasional, interrupted, intermittent, spasmodic, inconstant


مُتَتابِع، مُتَواصِل، مُسْتَمِرمُسْتَمِرّ
liên tục


A. ADJcontinuo
B. CPD continuous assessment Nevaluación f continua
continuous (feed) paper Npapel m continuo
continuous inventory Ninventario m continuo
continuous performance N (in cinema) → sesión f continua
continuous stationery Npapel m continuo


[kənˈtɪnjʊəs] adj
[process, event] → continu(e) continuous assessment, continuous performance
[line, surface] → ininterrompu(e)continuous assessment n (British)contrôle m continu


adjdauernd, ständig, kontinuierlich (geh); linedurchgezogen, ununterbrochen; rise, movement etcstetig, stet attr (geh), → gleichmäßig; (Math) functionstetig; to be in continuous useständig in Benutzung sein; a continuous stream of peopleein ununterbrochener Andrang von Menschen; a continuous stream of phone callseine ununterbrochene Flut von Anrufen; continuous assessmentBeurteilung fder Leistungen während des ganzen Jahres; continuous paper (Comput) → Endlospapier nt; (pre-printed) → Endlosformular nt; continuous performance (Film) → durchgehende Vorstellung; continuous tense (Gram) → Verlaufsform f; present/past continuous (Gram) → erweitertes Präsens/Präteritum; continuous textFließtext m


[kənˈtɪnjʊəs] adjcontinuo/a, ininterrotto/a
continuous performance (Cine) → spettacolo continuato
continuous stationery (Comput) → (carta a) moduli mpl continui


(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.


مُسْتَمِرّ nepřetržitý fortsat andauernd αδιάκοπος ininterrumpido jatkuva continu trajan continuo 連続的な 연속적인 ononderbroken sammenhengende ciągły contínuo продолжительный oavbruten ซึ่งต่อเนื่องกัน kesintisiz liên tục 连续的


a. continuo-a, seguido-a.


adj continuo
References in classic literature ?
Cutter remained flushed and wild-eyed as we had known her, but as the years passed she became afflicted with a shaking palsy which made her nervous nod continuous instead of occasional.
Perplexed by confused voices in the woods, she lost track of the crowd, until the voices suddenly were raised in one loud outcry, followed by the crashing of timber, the splashing of water, a silence, and then a dull, continuous roar.
All round, her unpanelled, open bulwarks were garnished like one continuous jaw, with the long sharp teeth of the sperm whale, inserted there for pins, to fasten her old hempen thews and tendons to.
His cranial cavity is continuous with the first neck-vertebra; and in that vertebra the bottom of the spinal canal will measure ten inches across, being eight in height, and of a triangular figure with the base downwards.
There had been a long continuous period of rainy weather, and the soft, rich earth of Ohio, as every one knows, is admirably suited to the manufacture of mud--and the road was an Ohio railroad of the good old times.
The children are devoted to Cathy, for she has turned their dull frontier life into a sort of continuous festival; also they know her for a stanch and steady friend, a friend who can always be depended upon, and does not change with the weather.
This tramping back and forth is kept up nearly all the time, and is accented by the continuous slamming of the door, and the coughing and barking and sneezing of the crowd.
The soul grows into lovely habits as easily as into ugly ones, and the moment a life begins to blossom into beautiful words and deeds, that moment a new standard of conduct is established, and your eager neighbors look to you for a continuous manifestation of the good cheer, the sympathy, the ready wit, the comradeship, or the inspiration, you once showed yourself capable of.
Even when that weather was broken, and continuous rain set in for some days, no damp seemed cast over enjoyment: indoor amusements only became more lively and varied, in consequence of the stop put to outdoor gaiety.
He was driven on, and other carriages came whirling by in quick succession; the Minister, the State-Projector, the Farmer-General, the Doctor, the Lawyer, the Ecclesiastic, the Grand Opera, the Comedy, the whole Fancy Ball in a bright continuous flow, came whirling by.
I will only add, to what I have already written of my perseverance at this time of my life, and of a patient and continuous energy which then began to be matured within me, and which I know to be the strong part of my character, if it have any strength at all, that there, on looking back, I find the source of my success.
As I continued to thread the tall woods, I could hear from far before me not only the continuous thunder of the surf, but a certain tossing of foliage and grinding of boughs which showed me the sea breeze had set in higher than usual.

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