Definition of discontinuity in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌdisˌkäntəˈn(y)o͞oədē/

noun (plural discontinuities)

1A distinct break in physical continuity or sequence in time: there is no significant discontinuity between modern and primitive societies
More example sentences
  • From my parents, who serve as a primary reference point, I begin to understand both my uniqueness and universality together with my continuity and discontinuity with the past and the present.
  • Yet historical accounts of anti-vaccination campaigns - including this one - reveal more discontinuity than continuity.
  • That is, it is necessary to understand both continuity and discontinuity between closely related species.
1.1A sharp difference of characteristics between parts of something: changes in government have resulted in discontinuities in policy
More example sentences
  • The issue of the Old and the New Second Worlds, the transition from communism to postcommunism, the continuities and discontinuities between them, will be taken up later in this chapter.
  • The various continuities and discontinuities that are discernible derive from the real changes that are deemed to have taken place.
  • With all the continuities and discontinuities outlined in our separate chapters, this period was clearly fundamental for the subsequent development of Europe.
disconnectedness, disconnection, break, lack of unity, disruption, interruption, lack of coherence, disjointedness
1.2 Mathematics A point at which a function is discontinuous or undefined.
Example sentences
  • This may be due to the QTL variance being at the boundary of the parameter space, where the maximum-likelihood search algorithm has difficulties due to the discontinuity of the likelihood function.
  • The function has one discontinuity at = 0, and its second derivative has various discontinuities.
  • The left figure above illustrates a discontinuity in a one-dimensional function, and the right figure illustrated a discontinuity of a two-dimensional function plotted as a surface.


Late 16th century: from medieval Latin discontinuitas, from discontinuus (see discontinuous).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dis·con·ti·nu·i·ty

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