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One of seven large continuous masses of land: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia (listed in order of size). Europe and Asia are sometimes considered a single continent, Eurasia. The continents vary greatly in size and in ratio of coastline to total area. More than two-thirds of the world's continental land area lies north of the equator, and all the continents except Antarctica are wedge-shaped, wider in the north than in the south. See alsocontinental drift.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on continent, visit Britannica.com.