between or among continents; involving two or more continents: intercontinental trade.
traveling or capable of traveling between continents: intercontinental airplanes.

Origin of intercontinental

First recorded in 1850–55; inter- + continental Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intercontinental

Contemporary Examples of intercontinental

Historical Examples of intercontinental

  • Intercontinental commerce must be carried on by means of deep-water vessels.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • The parallel progress in the intercontinental ballistic missile effort will be advanced by our plans for acceleration.

  • Hydrogen bombs and airplanes and intercontinental ballistic missiles do not change basic principles.

  • Some dust storms are intercontinental, a few may circle the 33 globe, and occasionally they may engulf entire planets.


    A. S. Walker

  • The general plan includes both an interoceanic railroad and links in the intercontinental or north and south lines.

British Dictionary definitions for intercontinental



relating to travel, commerce, relations, etc, between continents
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 intercontinental

1825, American English, from inter- + continental. Of missiles, from 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper