[ kon-tn-en-tl ]
/ ˌkɒn tnˈɛn tl /



Nearby words

  1. contiguous,
  2. contiguously,
  3. contin.,
  4. continence,
  5. continent,
  6. continental army,
  7. continental breakfast,
  8. continental celtic,
  9. continental climate,
  10. continental code

Origin of continental

First recorded in 1750–60; continent + -al1

Related formscon·ti·nen·tal·ly, adverbnon·con·ti·nen·tal, adjective, nounpre·con·ti·nen·tal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for continental

British Dictionary definitions for continental


/ (ˌkɒntɪˈnɛntəl) /


of or characteristic of Europe, excluding the British Isles
of or relating to the 13 original British North American colonies during and immediately after the War of American Independence


(sometimes not capital) an inhabitant of Europe, excluding the British Isles
a regular soldier of the rebel army during the War of American Independence
US history a currency note issued by the Continental Congress
Derived FormsContinentalism, nounContinentalist, noun

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

Word Origin and History for continental



1818 as a purely geographical term, from continent + -al (1). In reference to the European mainland (as opposed to Great Britain), recorded from 1760. Continental breakfast (the kind eaten on the continent as opposed to the kind eaten in Britain) is attested by 1855. In reference to the British American colonies from 1774; the Continental Congress is attested from 1775; continental divide in use by 1865; continental rise in geology from 1959; continental slope from 1907. Continental shelf first attested 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper