Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A continuous extent, succession, or whole, no part of which can be distinguished from neighboring parts except by arbitrary division.
  • n. Mathematics A set having the same number of points as all the real numbers in an interval.
  • n. Mathematics The set of all real numbers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A continuous series or whole, no part of which is noticeably different from its adjacent parts, although the ends or extremes of it are very different from each other.
  • n. The set of all real numbers and, more generally, a compact connected metric space.
  • n. A touch sensitive strip, similar to a standard electronic musical keyboard, except that the note steps are 1⁄100 of a semitone, and so are not separately marked.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A continuous spread or extension; a continuity; a continuous quantity. See continuity.
  • n. In mathematics, the whole system of positive and negative integral, fractional, and irrational numbers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a continuous nonspatial whole or extent or succession in which no part or portion is distinct or distinguishable from adjacent parts

Etymologies

Latin, neuter of continuus, continuous; see continue.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin continuum, neuter form of continuus, from contineō ("contain, enclose") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Getty Images PJ Harvey On her new, strikingly original disc, "Let England Shake" Island, out Tuesday, Ms. Harvey examines what she called a continuum of military conflict and her passion for "homeland" in the most literal sense.

    From Punk to Pacifism

  • At the other end of the continuum is the Booman Tribune, who thinks this is just the beginning:

    Balloon Juice » 2005 » October

  • TUCKER (voice-over): They are able to make it work because of tremendous teamwork, teamwork supported with constant communication between all points and what they call the continuum of medical care.

    CNN Transcript May 26, 2006

  • It must exist in a continuum from the simplest forms of matter through the chain of being all the way to us, human beings.

    2010 February « Anglican Samizdat

  • The politics of stunts runs on a continuum from the very serious acts of the Taliban to the idiocy of Bob Old and Danny Allen.

    Mike Signer: Stop the Madness: The New Politics of Stunts

  • Because Lennon's continuum is comprised of spiraling texts of conflicted humanity and creativity, it demands that we work hard to remember what real even means anymore, which gets harder and harder as every hyperreal day passes.

    Scott Thill: John Lennon: Working Class Mythmaker

  • Thinking that this continuum is important to understanding for wellness.

    Wellness Informatics at CHI 2010 « Beki's Blog (there's an original name)

  • What I mean by extreme end of the Strong Interface continuum is that I believe that everything taught explicitly can become implicit (highlighting * everything* and * can* and opposing it to the Weak Interface position: some of the things taught explicitly might become implicit, this time highlighting * some* and * might*).

    P is for Pronunciation « An A-Z of ELT

  • So the practical continuum is now laptop – [iPad] – phone rather than desktop-laptop - [iPad] - phone.

    iPad: Apple Thinks Different « Steve Wildstrom on Tech

  • Siegel here employs all his estimable powers — deep reportage, meticulous methodology, shrewd analysis — in pursuit of the story, establishing in the process an incontrovertible legal continuum from the early Cold War era to the post-9/11 one.

    Cover to Cover

Comments

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  • I hate math, but I like this word.

    December 3, 2007

  • As much as I love math, I also love words with double "u," & this is a much more interesting word than "vacuum"
    I also enjoy John Mayer :) I'm glad he used this as an album title

    December 3, 2007

  • If I were to "favorite" it, it would probably be because it has the same nether end as vacuum. So #3, I suppose.

    February 15, 2007

  • I haven't favorited it, but my attraction to this word is almost completely due to Star Trek.

    February 15, 2007

  • For those who favorited the word, why?

    1. Math?
    2. Star Trek?
    3. Like words with double "u"

    February 15, 2007

  • Not to be confused with the continuum hypothesis, which describes the various sizes of infinite sets.

    February 15, 2007

  • In mathematics the number continuum is the concept that between any two numbers, no matter how small, there is another number smaller, such that the number line is continuous--has no 'holes'.

    February 14, 2007