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90s Slang You Should Know

continental divide

a divide separating river systems that flow to opposite sides of a continent.
(initial capital letters) (in North America) the line of summits of the Rocky Mountains, separating streams flowing toward the Gulf of California and the Pacific from those flowing toward the Gulf of Mexico, Hudson Bay, and the Arctic Ocean.
Origin of continental divide
An Americanism dating back to 1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for continental divide
Historical Examples
  • But the principal game was taken in the mountain country west of the continental divide.

  • Somewhat common in the pine woods on the continental divide.

    Wild Animals at Home Ernest Thompson Seton
  • Going over the continental divide while the snow makes a dog team useful.

    Burned Bridges Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • It was necessary to get near enough to the top of the continental divide so that we could cross it the next day.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • There is no road across the continental divide, and all trips in the mountain region must be by trail.

    Your National Parks Enos A. Mills
  • It extends to Nebraska, and is found east of the continental divide far north in British America.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
  • It stands not in but immediately in front of the continental divide, whose near-by ruggedness is tremendously impressive.

    Your National Parks Enos A. Mills
  • Activity was constant during these years all along the continental divide.

    The Last American Frontier Frederic L. (Frederic Logan) Paxson
  • Commonly a high wind strikes the western slope of the continental divide a little below the altitude of eleven thousand feet.

    The Spell of the Rockies Enos A. Mills
  • Right on the crest of the continental divide appeared the northern group of mining camps.

    The Last American Frontier Frederic L. (Frederic Logan) Paxson
British Dictionary definitions for continental divide

continental divide

the watershed of a continent, esp (often caps.) the principal watershed of North America, formed by the Rocky Mountains
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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continental divide in Science
continental divide  
A region of high ground, from each side of which the river systems of a continent flow into different continental-scale drainage basins. ◇ In North America, the Continental Divide is a series of mountain ridges stretching from Alaska to Mexico, marking the separation of drainage basins that empty into the Pacific Ocean or Bering Sea from those that empty into the Arctic or Atlantic Oceans or the Gulf of Mexico.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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continental divide in Culture

continental divide definition

An imaginary geographic line defined by the fact that water poured on one side of it would ultimately flow into the ocean on one side of a continent, while water poured on the other side of the line would flow into the ocean on the other side of the continent.

Note: In North America, the continental divide is located in the Rocky Mountains.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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