- one of the main landmasses of the globe, usually reckoned as seven in number (Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, and Antarctica).
- a comparable landmass on another planet.
- the mainland, as distinguished from islands or peninsulas.
- the Continent, the mainland of Europe, as distinguished from the British Isles.
- a continuous tract or extent, as of land.
- Archaic. something that serves as a container or boundary.
- exercising or characterized by restraint in relation to the desires or passions and especially to sexual desires; temperate.
- able to control urinary and fecal discharge.
- Obsolete. containing; being a container; capacious.
- Obsolete. restraining or restrictive.
- Obsolete. continuous; forming an uninterrupted tract, as land.
Origin of continent
Examples from the Web for continents
When the artist themselves is often continents away, those artistic decisions are made by the artisan.Damien Hirst’s Army of Geppettos
December 2, 2014
With an unprecedented epidemic spreading across countries and continents, including our own, it should give us reason, too.Meet the Liberian Girls Beating Ebola
October 29, 2014
In the seven months since the epidemic began, Ebola has spread across borders, countries, and now continents.Why Isn't Silicon Valley Doing More to Fight Ebola?
October 8, 2014
Mars has no tectonic plates—no continents, in other words—and no ginormous moon.The Best Map of Mars Yet
Matthew R. Francis
July 20, 2014
I ended up an investment banker at J.P. Morgan & Co, eventually serving as a managing director on three continents.A Catholic Ex-Banker on Pope Francis’s Radical Views
December 15, 2013
The open sea, of the existence of which we are certified, must wash the shores of continents.The Field of Ice
It was natural to distinguish the two continents as South and North America.Introductory American History
Henry Eldridge Bourne
Bitter wars have been fought in Europe for colonial 160 supremacy in other continents.Mountain Meditations
They overrun the seven continents and their respective seas.Rosinante to the Road Again
John Dos Passos
The continents of the world have become vast, uninhabitable deserts.Common Science
Carleton W. Washburne
- one of the earth's large land masses (Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, and Antarctica)
- that part of the earth's crust that rises above the oceans and is composed of sialic rocks. Including the continental shelves, the continents occupy 30 per cent of the earth's surface
- mainland as opposed to islands
- a continuous extent of land
- able to control urination and defecation
- exercising self-restraint, esp from sexual activity; chaste
- the Continent the mainland of Europe as distinguished from the British Isles
Word Origin and History for continents
late 14c., "self-restraining," from Old French continent and directly from Latin continentem (nominative continens) "holding together, continuous," present participle of continere "hold together" (see contain). Meaning moved from "exercising self-restraint" to "chaste" 14c., and to bowel and bladder control 19c.
"large land mass," 1550s, from continent land (mid-15c.), translating Latin terra continens "continuous land," from continens, present participle of continere (see continent (adj.)).
- One of the seven great landmasses of the Earth. The continents are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.