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[dis-kuh n-tin-yoo-uh s] /ˌdɪs kənˈtɪn yu əs/
not continuous; broken; interrupted; intermittent:
a discontinuous chain of mountains; a discontinuous argument.
Mathematics. (of a function at a point) not continuous at the point.
Origin of discontinuous
1660-70; < Medieval Latin discontinuus. See dis-1, continuous
Related forms
discontinuously, adverb
discontinuousness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for discontinuous
  • My point is that the informal aspects of education are continuous with the formal and not discontinuous.
  • History is traced not in straight lines but in jagged and discontinuous strokes.
  • They have created a discontinuous change with a potential to impact the lives of millions.
  • At the subatomic scale, where the universe is jumpy and discontinuous, physicists don't know how gravity behaves.
  • There are two major ways to describe its distribution: continuous and discontinuous.
  • Breakthroughs in communications have been especially discontinuous.
  • One thing that popped into my head is that many arcs are discontinuous and don't follow the same alignment their whole length.
  • At the superconducting transition, it suffers a discontinuous jump and thereafter ceases to be linear.
  • Another possibility is that the human behavior function is discontinuous, meaning efforts to maximize are futile.
  • Those revolutions were achieved in the end by discontinuous jumps that broke completely with the past in certain respects.
British Dictionary definitions for discontinuous


characterized by interruptions or breaks; intermittent
(maths) (of a function or curve) changing suddenly in value for one or more values of the variable or at one or more points Compare continuous (sense 3)
Derived Forms
discontinuously, adverb
discontinuousness, noun
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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discontinuous in Science
Mathematics Relating to a function that contains one or more points where the function is either discontinuous or undefined.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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