Main definitions of continent in English

: continent1continent2

continent1

noun

  • 1Any of the world's main continuous expanses of land (Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia, Antarctica).

    • ‘Instead, tectonics has encircled the north pole with most of the great continents.’
    • ‘The history of the Armenian state and people spans over three thousand years and six continents.’
    • ‘As far as the other continents were concerned British capital was centred on the Empire.’
    • ‘So, after Everest, she resolved to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.’
    • ‘The plan is to sail around several continents before eventually returning to Europe.’
    • ‘The Middle East and tropical Africa were the last continents that Europeans colonized.’
    • ‘By the end of my second year there, I'd travelled to most continents, and my air miles account was truly bulging.’
    • ‘This is due to the fact that all the continents had merged into a single landmass.’
    • ‘Australia was the last of the inhabited continents to be reached by Europeans.’
    • ‘The experience of war fought across two oceans and three continents turned it into a military hegemon of the first order.’
    • ‘The flowers also tend to be very small, compared to the size of the flowers found in other landmasses and continents.’
    • ‘It even creates news products for maritime and land mobile markets across six continents and four ocean regions.’
    • ‘With present telecommunication links it is indeed possible to work across the continents.’
    • ‘A child from an extended family may be living across different continents with different cultures and laws.’
    • ‘You're all my very extended family spanning all continents and all time zones around the world.’
    • ‘This steep sided sea flows like a meeting place between the two continents of Africa and Asia.’
    • ‘The one mass of land began to break up, and the separating continents took with them living cargoes of animals.’
    • ‘To be competitive in the 1990s, airlines must offer services across several continents.’
    • ‘In fact, we know that tornadoes have occurred on all continents except Antarctica.’
    • ‘Thousands died on the seas while they were being shipped like caged cattle between continents.’
    1. 1.1 The mainland of Europe as distinct from the British Isles.
      ‘clubs sprang up in Britain and on the Continent’
    2. 1.2archaic A mainland contrasted with islands.
      • ‘Although it was a disaster it brought out some great characteristics of mateship and sacrifice for this little island continent of ours.’
      • ‘They saw only the tiny volcanic islands but no massive continent as he had claimed.’
      • ‘Their goal was to take over every island and continent and submit them to dictatorship.’
      • ‘The island continent, Atlantis, began to tremble once more with extreme fury.’
      • ‘Soon Sasha found herself riding in Hardy's carrier under the strange stars of the island continent.’

Origin

Mid 16th century (denoting a continuous tract of land): from Latin terra continens ‘continuous land’.

Pronunciation

continent

/ˈkɒntɪnənt/

Main definitions of continent in English

: continent1continent2

continent2

adjective

  • 1Able to control movements of the bowels and bladder.

    • ‘We compared the risk of urinary incontinence in the daughters of incontinent women with that in the daughters of continent women.’
    • ‘The patients in the study were losing the ability to dress themselves, bathe, use the toilet, clean themselves, and remain continent.’
    • ‘This provides a mechanism to influence the two muscle groups to work in concert for continent urine storage and release.’
  • 2Exercising self-restraint, especially sexually.

    • ‘They believed that the church should be made up of women and men who were sexually continent and who also abstained from wine and meat.’
    • ‘They were sexually continent all their lives.’
    temperate, abstinent, austere, moderate, self-disciplined, self-denying, restrained, self-restrained, non-indulgent, sober, ascetic, puritanical, spartan, strict, severe, self-abnegating, hair-shirt
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in continent (sense 2)): from Latin continent- ‘holding together, restraining oneself’, from continere (see contain).

Pronunciation

continent

/ˈkɒntɪnənt/