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[kuh n-tin-yoo-oh] /kənˈtɪn yuˌoʊ/
noun, plural continuos. Music.
a keyboard accompanying part consisting originally of a figured bass, which in modern scores is usually realized, and serving to provide or fill out the harmonic texture.
Origin of continuo
1715-25; < Italian: literally, continuous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Historical Examples
  • "Yes, I want you," he repeated, bringing his hand down on his knee with a continuos hammering.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for continuos


noun (pl) -os
  1. a shortened form of basso continuo See thorough bass
  2. (as modifier): a continuo accompaniment
the thorough-bass part as played on a keyboard instrument, often supported by a cello, bassoon, etc
Word Origin
Italian, literally: continuous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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