Why was clemency trending last week?


[kuh n-tin-yoo-uh s] /kənˈtɪn yu əs/
uninterrupted in time; without cessation:
continuous coughing during the concert.
being in immediate connection or spatial relationship:
a continuous series of blasts; a continuous row of warehouses.
Grammar, progressive (def 7).
Origin of continuous
1635-45; < Latin continuus uninterrupted, equivalent to contin(ēre) to hold together, retain (con- con- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold; cf. contain) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; cf. -ous, contiguous
Related forms
continuously, adverb
continuousness, noun
noncontinuous, adjective
noncontinuously, adverb
noncontinuousness, noun
quasi-continuous, adjective
quasi-continuously, adverb
semicontinuous, adjective
semicontinuously, adverb
uncontinuous, adjective
uncontinuously, adverb
Can be confused
continual, continuous, intermittent (see usage note at continual)
Usage note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for continuously
  • We continuously strive to enhance the learning environment on campus.
  • Relentless pessimism about the economy has driven down yields almost continuously ever since.
  • The solar wind is a stream of charged particles continuously ejected from the sun.
  • The outer edge of its mantle continuously adds new shell at this opening.
  • Computers and other electronic devices that display text use power continuously.
  • The white and yellow forms flower almost continuously.
  • If there is one thing to say about my own to-do lists, it is continuously expanding.
  • Slowly drizzle cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, whisking continuously.
  • Demonstrates initiative and the ability to continuously learn new material quickly and independently.
  • Under various leaders, they have ruled continuously for almost four decades.
British Dictionary definitions for continuously


prolonged without interruption; unceasing: a continuous noise
in an unbroken series or pattern
(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 discontinuous (sense 2) See also limit (sense 5)
(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 discrete (sense 3)
(grammar) another word for progressive (sense 8)
Derived Forms
continuously, adverb
continuousness, noun
Usage note
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
Word Origin
C17: from Latin continuus, from continēre to hold together, contain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for continuously



1640s, from French continueus or directly from Latin continuus "uninterrupted, hanging together" (see continue). Related: Continuously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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continuously in Medicine

continuous con·tin·u·ous (kən-tĭn'yōō-əs)

  1. Uninterrupted in time, sequence, substance, or extent.

  2. Attached together in repeated units.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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continuously in Science
  1. Relating to a line or curve that extends without a break or irregularity.

  2. A function in which changes, however small, to any x-value result in small changes to the corresponding y-value, without sudden jumps. Technically, a function is continuous at the point c if it meets the following condition: for any positive number ε, however small, there exists a positive number δ such that for all x within the distance δ from c, the value of f(x) will be within the distance ε from f(c). Polynomials, exponential functions, and trigonometric functions are examples of continuous functions.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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