[dis-kon-tn-oo-i-tee, -yoo-]
noun, plural discontinuities.
lack of continuity; irregularity: The plot of the book was marred by discontinuity.
a break or gap: The surface of the moon is characterized by major discontinuities.
Mathematics. a point at which a function is not continuous.
Geology. a zone deep within the earth where the velocity of earthquake waves changes radically.

1560–70; < Medieval Latin discontinuitās. See discontinuous, -ity

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World English Dictionary
discontinuity (dɪsˌkɒntɪˈnjuːɪtɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  lack of rational connection or cohesion
2.  a break or interruption
3.  maths
 a.  the property of being discontinuous
 b.  the point or the value of the variable at which a curve or function becomes discontinuous
4.  geology
 a.  See also Mohorovičić discontinuity a zone within the earth where a sudden change in physical properties, such as the velocity of earthquake waves, occurs. Such a zone marks the boundary between the different layers of the earth, as between the core and mantle
 b.  a surface separating rocks that are not continuous with each other

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
discontinuity   (dĭs-kŏn'tə-n'ĭ-tē)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A usually uneven surface between two layers of rock or sediment that represents either an interruption in the deposition of the layers, as in an unconformity, or a displacement of one or both layers relative to each other, as in a fault.

  2. A surface within the Earth across which the velocities of seismic waves change. The discontinuities are located at the boundaries between the Earth's various layers and correspond to changes in the elastic properties of the Earth's materials.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
If the staff are encouraging situations that she is not used to at home,
  perhaps she is reacting to the discontinuity.
There was a significant discontinuity, however, as halftime scores moved closer
  to a tie.
As a ball moves off a cliff there is no discontinuity in the energy it has, it
  has to actually fall in order to gain any energy.
With those he can attempt to explain the physical processes at work in the
  entire theory and the cause of the discontinuity.
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