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).
- ‘In fact, we know that tornadoes have occurred on all continents except Antarctica.’
- ‘With present telecommunication links it is indeed possible to work across the continents.’
- ‘To be competitive in the 1990s, airlines must offer services across several continents.’
- ‘The history of the Armenian state and people spans over three thousand years and six continents.’
- ‘You're all my very extended family spanning all continents and all time zones around the world.’
- ‘This is due to the fact that all the continents had merged into a single landmass.’
- ‘The flowers also tend to be very small, compared to the size of the flowers found in other landmasses and continents.’
- ‘This steep sided sea flows like a meeting place between the two continents of Africa and Asia.’
- ‘So, after Everest, she resolved to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.’
- ‘The one mass of land began to break up, and the separating continents took with them living cargoes of animals.’
- ‘The experience of war fought across two oceans and three continents turned it into a military hegemon of the first order.’
- ‘Thousands died on the seas while they were being shipped like caged cattle between continents.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The plan is to sail around several continents before eventually returning to Europe.’
- ‘Australia was the last of the inhabited continents to be reached by Europeans.’
- ‘As far as the other continents were concerned British capital was centred on the Empire.’
- ‘It even creates news products for maritime and land mobile markets across six continents and four ocean regions.’
- ‘Instead, tectonics has encircled the north pole with most of the great continents.’
- ‘By the end of my second year there, I'd travelled to most continents, and my air miles account was truly bulging.’
- 1.1also the Continent 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’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Soon Sasha found herself riding in Hardy's carrier under the strange stars of the island continent.’
- ‘The island continent, Atlantis, began to tremble once more with extreme fury.’
- ‘Their goal was to take over every island and continent and submit them to dictatorship.’
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.’
- ‘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.
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 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.’
Late Middle English (in continent (sense 2)): from Latin continent- ‘holding together, restraining oneself’, from continere (see contain).
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