The Meaning and Use of the Word Continuum

The continuum refers to a range or series, such as a spectrum, in which things are not exactly at opposite ends of the scale but are close together and can be readily distinguished from one another. For example, the four basic parenting styles tend to be on a continuum from heavy discipline to light or child centered approaches. The four basic twitch-to-slow twitch running abilities can be considered on a continuum as well.

The idea of a continuum is central to the theory of relativity in physics. Einstein argued that the past, present and future are all part of an ongoing four-dimensional spacetime continuum.

It is also widely used in mathematics. See our article on the concept of a continuum for more information. These examples are from a programmatically compiled collection of online sources to illustrate current usage of the word continuum. They are not the opinions of Merriam-Webster or its editors. the continuum

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