continent

[kon-tn-uh nt]

noun

adjective


Nearby words

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

Origin of continent

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin continent- (stem of continēns, present participle of continēre to contain), equivalent to con- con- + -tin-, combining form of ten- hold + -ent- -ent

Related formsun·con·ti·nent, adjectiveun·con·ti·nent·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for continents


British Dictionary definitions for continents

continent

1

noun

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
obsolete
  1. mainland as opposed to islands
  2. a continuous extent of land
Derived Formscontinental (ˌkɒntɪˈnɛntəl), adjectivecontinentally, adverb

Word Origin for continent

C16: from the Latin phrase terra continens continuous land, from continēre; see contain

continent

2

adjective

able to control urination and defecation
exercising self-restraint, esp from sexual activity; chaste
Derived Formscontinence or continency, nouncontinently, adverb

Word Origin for continent

C14: from Latin continent-, present participle of continēre; see contain

Continent

noun

the Continent the mainland of Europe as distinguished from the British Isles
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 continents
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for continents

continent

[kŏntə-nənt]

One of the seven great landmasses of the Earth. The continents are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for continents

continents

The large parts of the surface of the Earth that rise above sea level. The seven major continents are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Note

Continents are made from the lightest rocks in the Earth. Some of these are also the oldest known rocks on Earth, with an age of 3.5 billion years, measured by radioactive dating.

Note

According to the theory of plate tectonics, continents move along piggy-back on the tectonic plates like rafts floating on water.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.