One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of the world's main continuous expanses of land (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America).
- ‘This is due to the fact that all the continents had merged into a single landmass.’
- ‘The Middle East and tropical Africa were the last continents that Europeans colonized.’
- ‘A child from an extended family may be living across different continents with different cultures and laws.’
- ‘As far as the other continents were concerned British capital was centred on the Empire.’
- ‘Thousands died on the seas while they were being shipped like caged cattle between continents.’
- ‘By the end of my second year there, I'd travelled to most continents, and my air miles account was truly bulging.’
- ‘You're all my very extended family spanning all continents and all time zones around the world.’
- ‘The plan is to sail around several continents before eventually returning to Europe.’
- ‘Instead, tectonics has encircled the north pole with most of the great continents.’
- ‘The experience of war fought across two oceans and three continents turned it into a military hegemon of the first order.’
- ‘The history of the Armenian state and people spans over three thousand years and six continents.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Australia was the last of the inhabited continents to be reached by Europeans.’
- ‘The one mass of land began to break up, and the separating continents took with them living cargoes of animals.’
- ‘This steep sided sea flows like a meeting place between the two continents of Africa and Asia.’
- ‘The flowers also tend to be very small, compared to the size of the flowers found in other landmasses and continents.’
- ‘With present telecommunication links it is indeed possible to work across the continents.’
- ‘It even creates news products for maritime and land mobile markets across six continents and four ocean regions.’
- ‘So, after Everest, she resolved to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.’
- 1.1 The mainland of Europe as distinct from the British Isles.
- 1.2archaic A mainland contrasted with islands.‘the maritime zone is richer in varieties of plant than the continent’
- ‘Their goal was to take over every island and continent and submit them to dictatorship.’
- ‘Soon Sasha found herself riding in Hardy's carrier under the strange stars of the island continent.’
- ‘They saw only the tiny volcanic islands but no massive continent as he had claimed.’
- ‘Although it was a disaster it brought out some great characteristics of mateship and sacrifice for this little island continent of ours.’
- ‘The island continent, Atlantis, began to tremble once more with extreme fury.’
Mid 16th century (denoting a continuous tract of land): from Latin terra continens ‘continuous land’.
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.’
- ‘This provides a mechanism to influence the two muscle groups to work in concert for continent urine storage and release.’
- ‘The patients in the study were losing the ability to dress themselves, bathe, use the toilet, clean themselves, and remain continent.’
2Exercising self-restraint, especially sexually.
temperate, abstinent, austere, moderate, self-disciplined, self-denying, restrained, self-restrained, non-indulgent, sober, ascetic, puritanical, spartan, strict, severe, self-abnegating, hair-shirtView synonyms
- ‘They were sexually continent all their lives.’
- ‘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.’
Late Middle English (in continent (sense 2)): from Latin continent- ‘holding together, restraining oneself’, from continere (see contain).
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