Con*tin"u*ous (?), a. [L. continuus, fr. continere to hold together. See Continent.]


Without break, cessation, or interruption; without intervening space or time; uninterrupted; unbroken; continual; unceasing; constant; continued; protracted; extended; as, a continuous line of railroad; a continuous current of electricity.

he can hear its continuous murmur. Longfellow.

2. Bot.

Not deviating or varying from uninformity; not interrupted; not joined or articulated.

Continuous brake Railroad, a brake which is attached to each car a train, and can be caused to operate in all the cars simultaneously from a point on any car or on the engine. -- Continuous impost. See Impost.

Syn. -- Continuous, Continual. Continuous is the stronger word, and denotes that the continuity or union of parts is absolute and uninterrupted; as, a continuous sheet of ice; a continuous flow of water or of argument. So Daniel Webster speaks of "a continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England." Continual, in most cases, marks a close and unbroken succession of things, rather than absolute continuity. Thus we speak of continual showers, implying a repetition with occasional interruptions; we speak of a person as liable to continual calls, or as subject to continual applications for aid, etc. See Constant.


© Webster 1913.