[ suhb-kon-tn-uh nt, suhb-kon- ]
/ sʌbˈkɒn tn ənt, ˈsʌbˌkɒn- /


a large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent: the subcontinent of India.
a large landmass, as Greenland, that is smaller than any of the usually recognized continents.

Origin of subcontinent

First recorded in 1860–65; sub- + continent
Related formssub·con·ti·nen·tal [suhb-kon-tn-en-tl] /ˌsʌb kɒn tnˈɛn tl/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for subcontinent

British Dictionary definitions for subcontinent


/ (sʌbˈkɒntɪnənt) /


a large land mass that is a distinct part of a continent, such as India is of Asia
Derived Formssubcontinental (ˌsʌbkɒntɪˈnɛntəl), adjective
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 subcontinent



1863, from sub- + continent (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper