Entries linking to discontinuance
word-forming element of Latin origin meaning 1. "lack of, not" (as in dishonest); 2. "opposite of, do the opposite of" (as in disallow); 3. "apart, away" (as in discard), from Old French des- or directly from Latin dis- "apart, asunder, in a different direction, between," figuratively "not, un-," also "exceedingly, utterly." Assimilated as dif- before -f- and to di- before most voiced consonants.
The Latin prefix is from PIE *dis- "apart, asunder" (source also of Old English te-, Old Saxon ti-, Old High German ze-, German zer-). The PIE root is a secondary form of *dwis- and thus is related to Latin bis "twice" (originally *dvis) and to duo, on notion of "two ways, in twain" (hence "apart, asunder").
In classical Latin, dis- paralleled de- and had much the same meaning, but in Late Latin dis- came to be the favored form and this passed into Old French as des-, the form used for compound words formed in Old French, where it increasingly had a privative sense ("not"). In English, many of these words eventually were altered back to dis-, while in French many have been altered back to de-. The usual confusion prevails.
As a living prefix in English, it reverses or negatives what it is affixed to. Sometimes, as in Italian, it is reduced to s- (as in spend, splay, sport, sdain for disdain, and the surnames Spencer and Spence).
mid-14c., contynuen, "maintain, sustain, preserve;" late 14c., "go forward or onward; persevere in," from Old French continuer (13c.) and directly from Latin continuare "join together in uninterrupted succession, make or be continuous, do successively one after another," from continuus "joining, connecting with something; following one after another," from continere (intransitive) "to be uninterrupted," literally "to hang together" (see contain). Related: Continued; continuing.
Sense of "to carry on from the point of suspension" is from early 15c. Meaning "to remain in a state, place, or office" is from early 15c. Transitive sense of "to extend from one point to another" is from 1660s. Meaning "to postpone a hearing or trial" is from mid-15c.