|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|
|a. mainland as opposed to islands|
|b. a continuous extent of land|
|[C16: from the Latin phrase terra continens continuous land, from continēre; see |
|continent (kŏn'tə-nənt) Pronunciation Key
One of the seven great landmasses of the Earth. The 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.