The term "continued fraction" is used to refer to a class of expressions of whichgeneralized continued fractionof the form

(and the terms may be integers, reals, complexes, or functions of these) are the most general variety (Rocket and Szüsz 1992, p. 1).

Wallis first used the term "continued fraction" in his Arithmetica infinitorum of 1653 (Havil 2003, p. 93), although other sources list the publication date
as 1655 or 1656.An archaic word for a continued fraction is anthyphairetic ratio.

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