This is the use case:

"...5 doughnuts to be awarded each consecutive day you visit the shop until the ???? is broken."

I'm thinking it's going to be along the lines of consecusion or consecutivity....??? But these are of course not real words.

For more clarity: I don't want to have the term bound to any misleading things. The use case I gave was an example but this term needs to be abstracted due to the nature of the real problem as it relates to software. i.e. String, chain, etc.

  • 2
    Usually, the repetitive sequence that gets "broken" is a cycle. Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 1:40
  • 6
    Since "consecutive" is specified, everything from "until" onward feels a bit redundant
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 9:49
  • 7
    c-c-c-c-combo breaker.
    – user61243
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 15:40
  • 2
    @AlexM. always cite your sources!
    – Patrick M
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 15:58
  • Your title should say Term for a broken ______ of events or something similar. Your question is not about individual events that are broken.
    – Drew
    Commented Aug 9, 2014 at 5:17

10 Answers 10


"Until the streak is broken"; alternatively (synonymously) run or spell.

Or, you could describe it as a "series of events" (or sequence, which has an embedded notion of "consecutivity"), as in "the series was interrupted by...".

Finally, you could describe the entire thing as "a continuity", though that tends to deemphasize the discrete events.

  • Streak is good. If nothing better comes I'll mark as answer. +1 for now
    – MegaMark
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 19:49
  • I really like some of these, series I can't use, sequence is good but again I can't use, I really like continuity... but I don't think I can use that either... wow... I might have to succumb to one of these... I don't think it gets any closer...
    – MegaMark
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 20:06
  • 12
    Streak is idiomatically appropriate, I doubt that there is anything better that could come along. +1 from me too. :-)
    – Hellion
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 20:06
  • 2
    +1 for "run" — it's a straight definition of the word: a continuous spell of a particular situation or condition. Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 14:11
  • Run is the mathematical term. Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 11:43

You mention this relates to software, so some other terms came to my mind:

  • pattern: You are describing a behavior that keeps happening, until it doesn't (the pattern is broken).
  • repetition (or loop): Doing the same thing over and over again, until you decide to stop (the repetition stops today; the loop ended).

Also in software, I would refer to such a situation as a missed event or skipped event. In this case, the "daily visit" is the event, so you could end your phrase with "until a day is missed", or "until a day is skipped".


It looks like you mean something like until the string is broken. See [Merriam-Webster's definition 5(b)(1):

a series of things arranged in or as if in a line : a string of cars : a string of names

Thus one could have a string of days, and speak of something happening until the string is broken.

  • 1
    Yes, but I really don't like string in this context... but yes you're on right track.
    – MegaMark
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 19:43
  • 1
    "Chain" seems like it would be better.
    – tobyink
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 19:18

I don't really see why you need to say anything. Why not '5 doughnuts to be awarded each consecutive day you visit the shop'. By adding 'until the run is broken' you are effectively saying the same thing over again. You have covered your bases by use of the word 'consecutive'.

  • yes, with the only exception to that being it's software requirement related and must be spelled out as if to children leaving no room for misinterpretation. lol you know how it is. Still +1 because you're not wrong!
    – MegaMark
    Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 20:52
  • 1
    @MegaMark Or you could just say '5 doughnuts to be awarded each consecutive day until either A) the sight of doughnuts males you feel sick, or B) you are too fat to get in the door!
    – WS2
    Commented Aug 16, 2014 at 5:37

I would use the word trend to describe this constant recurrence:

"...5 doughnuts to be awarded each consecutive day you visit the shop until the trend is broken."


How about succession?
1. a number of people or things sharing a specified characteristic and following one after the other. "she had been secretary to a succession of board directors" synonyms: sequence, series, progression, chain, cycle, round, string, train, line, run, flow, stream More GEOLOGY a group of strata representing a single chronological sequence.

2. the action or process of inheriting a title, office, property, etc. "the new king was already elderly at the time of his succession" synonyms: accession, elevation, assumption More

  • 1
    No, a succession need not be regular. I could skip a few days, and still come back to claim doughnuts.
    – OJFord
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 20:57

The word Recurrence could be used to indicate repetition of discrete events...

  • Hi Great Dane, this answer is ok, but would be better with an example of how you'd use it.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 23:42

Rephrase as "...5 doughnuts to be awarded each day until an interval (gap, break) occurs in the consecutive business days you visit the shop."


5 doughnuts to be awarded each day until you fail to collect them on 1 or more days.

Works for this case.

I don’t think there is a clear wording that works for all consecutive-events that is understood by most English users without a background in formal university level maths.

  • 2
    As I read the question, visiting the shop is the important thing; collecting the doughnuts on any given day probably is not a requirement for maintaining eligibility to collect them the next day. Commented Aug 9, 2014 at 4:09
  • Yes, the requirement is consecutive days visiting the shop... the reward is 5 doughnuts each day.
    – MegaMark
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 8:46

Five donuts to be awarded each day until the condition is broken. That is, the shopkeeper established a condition (daily visits) that must be fulfilled for the donut awards to continue.

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