One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of a conjunction: that introduces a subordinate clause, especially one continuing an idea introduced in the main clause. Compare "subjunctive". historical in later use.
Early 16th century (in an earlier sense). From post-classical Latin subcontinuativus (adjective) (of a type of conjunction) introducing a subordinate clause, (noun) conjunction of this type from sub- + continuativus, after Hellenistic Greek παρασυναπτικός, applied to conjunctions used to introduce clauses implying a fact.
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