Definition of discontinuity in English:



mass noun
  • 1The state of having intervals or gaps; lack of continuity.

    ‘there is no significant discontinuity between modern and primitive societies’
    • ‘Does a culture that believes something incorrect but positive about its history suffer from breaks or discontinuities, or could the experience for its citizens be a good one?’
    • ‘Overall, these studies have generally underscored the lack of discontinuity among human groups and the relative homogeneity of the human species.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although I suppose the above changes are marked more by continuity than by discontinuity.’
    • ‘We found at least one identifiable discontinuity in all analyses and more than one discontinuity in some.’
    • ‘His remarks on time and space, discontinuity and continuity are revealing.’
    • ‘As such, philosophy itself must orientate itself to the continuous discontinuity of the event.’
    • ‘Vertical lines indicate discontinuities in the time axis’
    • ‘Spot the glaring discontinuity in his story as related in this page.’
    • ‘In the last chapter, the editors pull together a number of themes such as the future of career, continuity and discontinuity in work, meaning making, and power and conflict, all of which were raised by the other contributors.’
    • ‘Yet historical accounts of anti-vaccination campaigns - including this one - reveal more discontinuity than continuity.’
    • ‘To notice both continuity and discontinuity between the texts establishes a model by which continuity and discontinuity between past and future can be recognized, and when necessary encouraged.’
    • ‘That is, it is necessary to understand both continuity and discontinuity between closely related species.’
    • ‘The full range of expression of characters was examined to identify breaks or discontinuities among character states.’
    • ‘Yet they may have come across moments when they discovered a profound gap or discontinuity in their supposedly continuous self.’
    • ‘These ‘breaks’ are not conceived as physical discontinuities in the course of events.’
    1. 1.1count noun A break in or lack of continuity.
      ‘changes in government have resulted in discontinuities in policy’
      • ‘As they become the subject of disagreement between political parties, there may be sharp discontinuities in policies each time there is a change of government.’
      • ‘With all the continuities and discontinuities outlined in our separate chapters, this period was clearly fundamental for the subsequent development of Europe.’
      • ‘First, research on technological evolution suggests that technological discontinuities may provide an impetus that transforms networks.’
      • ‘In the following sections, we re-evaluate the continuity or discontinuity of magnitude and then briefly consider whether events that might be regarded as mass extinctions can be unified by effect or cause.’
      • ‘Their whimsical nature, abrupt discontinuities and formal ‘shortcuts’ came across vividly.’
      • ‘The underlying issue is one of the continuity or discontinuity of patterns that can help information professionals do their work efficiently and effectively.’
      • ‘In both cases, the essential question remains the same: is the relation one of continuity or discontinuity?’
      • ‘The problem is not with the discontinuities imposed by immigration, but with the fragmentation of the self caused by the brutality and horrors of the flight itself.’
      • ‘Institutions, like individuals, tend to prefer stability and continuity over instability and discontinuity.’
      • ‘However, often times than not, parents that relocate to different places due to work opt for boarding schools to remove discontinuities in their child's education.’
      • ‘In their view, the weaknesses of industry lay in lack of access to technology, limited market size, and discontinuities of policies during the postwar era.’
      • ‘One of the key themes to emerge is a debate over continuity or discontinuity.’
      • ‘Instead what is offered is a sense of the range of representations whilst indicating some continuities and discontinuities in theme and form.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Other readers might find the discussion a bit confusing about how much continuity and discontinuity exists between this world and the new creation.’
      • ‘The risk of obscuring the continuities and discontinuities within a historical period often comes up when one writes about a year coming to an end.’
      • ‘Under such conditions, the discontinuities are stark.’
      • ‘‘If you are running a business, you have to look at the inconsistencies and discontinuities in the market place,’ he said.’
      • ‘Then there are other contradictions, hypocrisies and discontinuities in foreign policies.’
      disconnectedness, disconnection, break, lack of unity, disruption, interruption, lack of coherence, disjointedness
      View synonyms


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