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continent

[kon-tn-uh nt] /ˈkɒn tn ənt/
noun
1.
one of the main landmasses of the globe, usually reckoned as seven in number (Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, and Antarctica).
2.
a comparable landmass on another planet.
3.
the mainland, as distinguished from islands or peninsulas.
4.
the Continent, the mainland of Europe, as distinguished from the British Isles.
5.
a continuous tract or extent, as of land.
6.
Archaic. something that serves as a container or boundary.
adjective
7.
exercising or characterized by restraint in relation to the desires or passions and especially to sexual desires; temperate.
8.
able to control urinary and fecal discharge.
9.
Obsolete, containing; being a container; capacious.
10.
Obsolete. restraining or restrictive.
11.
Obsolete. continuous; forming an uninterrupted tract, as land.
Origin
1350-1400
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 forms
uncontinent, adjective
uncontinently, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for continent
  • Glacier's water can be considered the headwaters of the entire continent.
  • Over the past decade they have expanded across a continent they thought was becoming indivisible.
  • Its economy is growing faster than that of any other continent.
  • Pressure for improvement comes from beyond the continent, too.
  • Air travel is an all together more dangerous matter on a continent known for deadly crashes.
  • Aside from that, none of the others consider the continent even a second or third priority.
  • Our future customers, and perhaps even our future business partners, will be found on nearly every continent.
  • Meaning, especially anything subtle, is created by context and the teaching and evaluation contexts are separated by a continent.
  • In this lesson, students will identify characteristics of the physical geography of each continent of the world.
  • Students in each group will have to develop a three-week tour of that continent.
British Dictionary definitions for continent

continent1

/ˈkɒntɪnənt/
noun
1.
one of the earth's large land masses (Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, and Antarctica)
2.
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
3.
(obsolete)
  1. mainland as opposed to islands
  2. a continuous extent of land
Derived Forms
continental (ˌkɒntɪˈnɛntəl) adjective
continentally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from the Latin phrase terra continens continuous land, from continēre; see contain

continent2

/ˈkɒntɪnənt/
adjective
1.
able to control urination and defecation
2.
exercising self-restraint, esp from sexual activity; chaste
Derived Forms
continence, continency, noun
continently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin continent-, present participle of continēre; see contain

Continent

/ˈkɒntɪnənt/
noun
1.
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
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Word Origin and History for continent
adj.

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.

n.

"large land mass," 1550s, from continent land (mid-15c.), translating Latin terra continens "continuous land," from continens, present participle of continere (see continent (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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continent in Science
continent
  (kŏn'tə-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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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