What does continent mean?

Definitions for continent
ˈkɒn tn əntcon·ti·nent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word continent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. continentnoun

    one of the large landmasses of the earth

    "there are seven continents"; "pioneers had to cross the continent on foot"

  2. Continentadjective

    the European mainland

    "Englishmen like to visit the Continent but they wouldn't like to live there"

  3. continentadjective

    having control over urination and defecation

  4. celibate, continentadjective

    abstaining from sexual intercourse

    "celibate priests"


  1. Continentnoun

    An Encratite.

  2. Continentnoun

    The Old World.

  3. Continentnoun

    Mainland Europe, as seen from the British Isles.

  4. Etymology: From continentem, noun use of present participle of continere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CONTINENTadjective

    Etymology: continens, Latin.

    Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,
    As I am now unhappy. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    I pray you, have a continent forbearance, ’till the speed of his rage goes slower. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    The North-east part of Asia is, if not continent with the West side of America, yet certainly it is the least disjoined by sea of all that coast of Asia. Edward Brerewood, on Languages.

  2. Continentnoun

    Etymology: continens, Latin.

    Whether this portion of the world were rent,
    By the rude ocean, from the continent;
    Or thus created, it was sure design’d
    To be the sacred refuge of mankind. Edmund Waller.

    The declivity of rivers will be so much the less, and therefore the continents will be the less drained, and will gradually increase in humidity. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    You shall find in him the continent of what part a gentleman would see. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    O cleave my sides!
    Heart, once be stronger than thy continent,
    Crack thy frail case. William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra.

    Close pent-up guilts,
    Rive your contending continents. William Shakespeare, King Lear.


  1. Continent

    A continent is any of several large geographical regions. Continents are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, it could be a single landmass or a part of a very large landmass, as in the case of Asia or Europe. Due to this, the number of continents varies; up to seven or as few as four geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Most English-speaking countries recognize seven regions as continents. In order from largest to smallest in area, these seven regions are Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia. Different variations with fewer continents merge some of these regions, examples of this are merging North America and South America into America, Asia and Europe into Eurasia, and Africa, Asia, and Europe into Afro-Eurasia. Oceanic islands are frequently grouped with a nearby continent to divide all the world's land into geographical regions. Under this scheme, most of the island countries and territories in the Pacific Ocean are grouped together with the continent of Australia to form the geographical region Oceania.In geology, a continent is defined as "one of Earth's major landmasses, including both dry land and continental shelves". The geological continents correspond to seven large areas of continental crust that are found on the tectonic plates, but exclude small continental fragments such as Madagascar that are generally referred to as microcontinents. Continental crust is only known to exist on Earth.The idea of continental drift gained recognition in the 20th century. It postulates that the current continents formed from the breaking up of a supercontinent (Pangaea) that formed hundreds of millions of years ago.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Continentadjective

    serving to restrain or limit; restraining; opposing

  2. Continentadjective

    exercising restraint as to the indulgence of desires or passions; temperate; moderate

  3. Continentadjective

    abstaining from sexual intercourse; exercising restraint upon the sexual appetite; esp., abstaining from illicit sexual intercourse; chaste

  4. Continentadjective

    not interrupted; connected; continuous; as, a continent fever

  5. Continentadjective

    that which contains anything; a receptacle

  6. Continentadjective

    one of the grand divisions of land on the globe; the main land; specifically (Phys. Geog.), a large body of land differing from an island, not merely in its size, but in its structure, which is that of a large basin bordered by mountain chains; as, the continent of North America

  7. Etymology: [L. continens, prop., a holding together: cf. F. continent. See Continent, a.]


  1. Continent

    A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with up to seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia. In geology, continents are described by means of tectonic plates. Plate tectonics is the process and study of the movement, collision and division of continents, earlier known as continental drift.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Continent

    kon′ti-nent, n. a large extent of land not broken up by seas: the mainland of Europe: one of the great divisions of the land surface of the globe.—adj. restraining the indulgence of pleasure, esp. sexual: temperate: virtuous.—ns. Con′tinence, Con′tinency, the restraint imposed by a person upon his desires and passions: self-restraint in sexual indulgence, often absolute: chastity.—adj. Continent′al, characteristic of a continent, as of climate, &c.: pertaining to the European continent, or to the colonies of North America at the period of independence.—n. Continent′alism, anything peculiar to the usage of the Continent.—adv. Con′tinently.—Continental system, the name given to Napoleon's plan for shutting out England from all commercial connection with Europe. [L. continentemcontinēre, to contain—con, together, tenĕre, to hold.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. continent

    In geography, a large extent of land which is not entirely surrounded by water, or separated from other lands by the sea, as Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is also used in contradistinction to island, though America seems insulated.

Editors Contribution

  1. Continent

    A defined and known area of land.

    There are many continents in the world.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 23, 2020  

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'continent' in Nouns Frequency: #1894

How to pronounce continent?

How to say continent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of continent in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of continent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of continent in a Sentence

  1. Phillip Arnold:

    The Mesilla Valley here is one of the largest production areas in the continent, and for that matter in the world, to bring that type of pest in here could be devastating to the industry.

  2. Jonathan Faull:

    I hope it doesn't happen, we are working hard to try to make sure it doesn't happen, but there is no doubt that it would have very considerable consequences for our continent and for our union, some of those will perhaps be predictable and some of them will be unpredictable as Europe reacts to this new and unprecedented development.

  3. John Scanlon:

    In some parts of the African continent we are confronting potential local extinctions, in particular in central and western Africa.

  4. James Roberts:

    In terms of that being something that would tie Putin’s hands? I don’t think so, putin’s made real threats of war on the European continent for the first time since 1945, and he’s getting the attention that he’s apparently been seeking.

  5. Robert E. Lee:

    That whole mentality of the Lost Cause started to seep into my life, it then became a point of retrospection and trying to figure out what is the point of all this ? Why are we celebrating this man who enslaved people and fought for the continued enslavement of Black people on this continent ?

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Translations for continent

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"continent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/continent>.

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    used of men; markedly masculine in appearance or manner
    • A. omnifarious
    • B. butch
    • C. tacky
    • D. proprietary

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