American English

Definition of continuous adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1happening or existing for a period of time without interruption Recovery after the accident will be a continuous process that may take several months. Stop smoking and you will see a continuous improvement in your health. She was in continuous employment until the age of sixty-five. The rain has been continuous since this morning.
  2. 2spreading in a line or over an area without any spaces a continuous line of traffic Rain was falling outside in a continuous silver curtain.
  3. 3(informal) repeated many times synonym continual For four days the town suffered continuous attacks. Continual is much more frequent in this meaning.
  4. 4(grammar) = progressive the continuous tenses
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adverb He has lived and worked in France almost continuously since 1990. the continuously changing situation Heat the mixture until thickened, stirring continuously.
Which Word?continuous / continualThese adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns:
continuous ~continual ~
Continuous describes something that continues without stopping. Continual usually describes an action that is repeated again and again. The difference between these two words is now disappearing. In particular, continual can also mean the same as continuous and is used especially about undesirable things:Life was a continual struggle for them.However, continuous is much more frequent in this sense.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: continuous