continental drift

noun
Geology. the lateral movement of continents resulting from the motion of crustal plates.
Compare plate tectonics.


Origin:
1925–30

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
continental drift
 
n
geology See also plate tectonics the theory that the earth's continents move gradually over the surface of the planet on a substratum of magma. The present-day configuration of the continents is thought to be the result of the fragmentation of a single landmass, Pangaea, that existed 200 million years ago

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

continental drift
1925, a translation of Ger. Kontinentalverschiebung, proposed 1912 by Ger. scientist Alfred Wegener (1880-1930); not widely accepted until after c.1950.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
continental drift  
A theory stating that the Earth's continents have been joined together and have moved away from each other at different times in the Earth's history. The theory was first proposed by Alfred Wegener in 1912. While his general idea of continental movement eventually became widely accepted, his explanation for the mechanism of the movement has been supplanted by the theory of plant tectonics. See more at plate tectonics.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

continental drift definition


A term, no longer used by geologists, that refers to the fact that continents are not stationary, but move across the Earth's surface. Continental drift is one feature of the modern theory of plate tectonics. (See Pangaea.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

continental drift definition


In 1980 David Turner remarked that KRC ran "at the speed of the continental drift".
(1994-12-06)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Introduce to students the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift with a simple, hands-on experiment.
There are many answers to these problems if you allow such devices as treadmills, continental drift, and wormholes.
The processes that drive continental drift are not fully understood.
Images for continental drift
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