continual[kən tin′yo̵̅o̅ əl]
- The definition of continual is ongoing, or occurring frequently or without pause.
If someone is constantly making noise and barely ever taking a break, this is an example of continual noise.
- happening over and over again; repeated often; going on in rapid succession
- going on uninterruptedly; continuous
Origin of continualMiddle English continuel ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin continuus: see continue
- Recurring regularly or frequently: continual improvements in technology.
- Not interrupted; steady: a process that requires continual monitoring.
In careful usage, continual refers to repeated actions “continual objections”, while continuous refers to uninterrupted actions or objects “continuous flow”, “played music continuously from dusk to dawn”. However, this distinction is not observed in informal usage, a noted example being the magic spell name “continual light” (unbroken light), in the game Dungeons & Dragons.