Definition of continental drift in English:

continental drift


  • The gradual movement of the continents across the earth's surface through geological time.

    • ‘It is in Africa where critical data exist that spawned the theories of continental drift, the origins of life, and the emergence of humans and their subsequent migrations out of Africa.’
    • ‘According to the theory of continental drift, Africa and South America separated from this super continent first.’
    • ‘The site clarifies the often fuzzy distinction between the older theory of continental drift and its more recent reincarnation, plate tectonics.’
    • ‘When first proposed a generation ago, the theory of continental drift and plate tectonics was one of the most shocking scientific ideas of its day.’
    • ‘Searching for evidence to further develop his theory of continental drift, Wegener came across a paleontological paper suggesting that a land bridge had once connected Africa with Brazil.’
    • ‘Despite the now compelling nature of much of the geological evidence for continental drift, the most unequivocal proof of the movement of continents now surely comes from palaeomagnetism.’
    • ‘By the late 1960s the modern theories of continental drift and plate tectonics had become firmly established in geological thought.’
    • ‘Forty years ago, hardly any geologists believed in continental drift.’
    • ‘However, at the time that Wegener proposed his theory of continental drift, most scientists still believed the Earth was a solid, motionless body.’
    • ‘For example, when Wegener proposed his theory of continental drift he could not explain how continents move.’
    • ‘The theory of continental drift would become the spark that ignited a new way of viewing the Earth.’
    • ‘No mechanism was known, for example for continental drift when it was proposed by Wegener.’
    • ‘Later theories of continental drift depended on plate tectonics; rates of movement of continents were not an integral part of those theories.’
    • ‘Geologists and continental drift theorists have shown that there was once one super continent named Pangea.’
    • ‘The Elephant Bird's Tale is a tale of Gondwana, and of continental drift or, as it is now called, plate tectonics.’
    • ‘But of course, the scientists who refused to accept Wegener's continental drift hypothesis in 1912 and up to about 1950 were entirely right to do so.’
    • ‘Quite suddenly, Wegener's theory of continental drift had the mechanism that it had previously lacked.’
    • ‘Of course, none of these conclusions could have been reached without all these workers rejecting the idea of continental drift.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the entire thesis of continental drift was also thrown out.’
    • ‘The groove resembled the rifts between continental blocks that Wegener's theory of continental drift predicted far too closely for comfort.’


continental drift

/ˌkɑn(t)əˈnɛn(t)l drɪft//ˌkän(t)əˈnen(t)l drift/