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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English continuance, contynuaunce, from Old French continuance, from continuer.



continuance (countable and uncountable, plural continuances)

  1. (uncountable) The action of continuing.
    • 1579, Immeritô [pseudonym; Edmund Spenser], The Shepheardes Calender: Conteyning Tvvelue Æglogues Proportionable to the Twelue Monethes. [...], London: Printed by Hugh Singleton, OCLC; republished in Francis J[ames] Child, editor, The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser: The Text Carefully Revised, and Illustrated with Notes, Original and Selected by Francis J. Child: Five Volumes in Three, volume III, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company; The Riverside Press, Cambridge, published 1855, OCLC, page 406, lines 222–228:
      Now stands the Brere like a lord alone, / Puffed up with pryde and vaine pleasaunce. / But all this glee had no continuaunce: / For eftsones winter gan to approche; / The blustering Boreas did encroche, / And beate upon the solitarie Brere; / For nowe no succoure was seene him nere.
    • 1822, John Barclay, chapter I, in An Inquiry Into the Opinions, Ancient and Modern, Concerning Life and Organization[1], Edinburgh, London: Bell & Bradfute; Waugh & Innes; G. & W. B. Whittaker, section I, page 1:
      In the living state, the body is observed to […] adopt most effectual measures for the permanent continuance of its species.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, chapter 16, in Billy Budd[2], London: Constable & Co.:
      [] the interview's continuance already had attracted observation from some topmen aloft and other sailors in the waist or further forward.
    • 1947 January and February, “Railway Literature”, in Railway Magazine, page 64:
      Universal Directory of Railway Officials and Railway Year Book, 1946-47. [] Although the preparation of the fifty-second edition of this well-known work proved a far from easy task, owing to the continuance of unsettled conditions in many parts of the world, the response to the endeavours of the publishers to obtain accurate and complete information has exceeded anything that would have been possible twelve months earlier.
    • 1961 September, “Background to the new winter timetables of the East Coast”, in Modern Railways, page 534:
      There is little to report of changes on the Great Eastern Line other than deceleration, doubtless explained by continuance of the electrification work.
  2. The period during which something continues or goes on; duration.
    • 1873, T. E. Bowdich, “Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee”, in Travels in Africa, page 281:
      The gentlemen of the mission were present at a splendid festival, called "The Yam Custom." [] During the continuance of it, (as in the ancient Saturnalia) neither theft, intrigue, nor assault, are punishable, but licentiousness of every kind prevails.
  3. (countable, law, chiefly US) An order issued by a court granting a postponement of a legal proceeding for a set period.