continent

adjective
con·​ti·​nent | \ ˈkän-tə-nənt How to pronounce continent (audio) \

Definition of continent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exercising continence Most children are continent by the age of three.
2 obsolete : restrictive

continent

noun
con·​ti·​nent | \ ˈkän-tə-nənt How to pronounce continent (audio) , ˈkänt-nənt\

Definition of continent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 archaic : container, confines
2 archaic : epitome
3 : mainland
4a : one of the six or seven great divisions of land on the globe
b capitalized : the continent of Europe used with the

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Other Words from continent

Adjective

continently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for continent

Synonyms: Adjective

abstemious, abstentious, abstinent, self-abnegating, self-denying, sober, temperate

Synonyms: Noun

landmass, main, mainland

Antonyms: Adjective

self-indulgent

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Examples of continent in a Sentence

Adjective

Most children are continent by age three. a religious sect that expects its unmarried members to be completely celibate and its married adherents to maintain continent relationships

Noun

The book provides information on hotels in Britain and on the Continent. Europe and Asia are sometimes considered together to be one continent.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Driving the backlash against some of the continent’s most-entrenched leaders is a growing sense of discontent among many young, and increasingly urbanized, Africans over their lack of economic opportunities. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Young, Urban and Poor: Africans Fight Back," 5 Feb. 2019 As the first comic book movie featuring a cast of primarily black leads, Black Panther took inspiration from ethnic dress all over the continent of Africa, from groups such as the Maasai, Tuareg, Akan, Mursi, and Ndebele. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "11 pieces of clothing that explain 2018," 20 Dec. 2018 Mobile-first continents, like Asia and Africa, are seeing the biggest increase in consistent mobile users, according to a study from earlier this year. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Netflix is testing cheaper mobile-only subscription tiers," 14 Nov. 2018 And while few cases spread outside the continent, the resulting panic certainly did. Mallory Locklear, Discover Magazine, "With Big Data and Predictive Analytics, Scientists Are Getting Smarter About Outbreaks," 8 Nov. 2018 The deforestation of the Pando, placed in the context of deforestation worldwide, would be a true loss for the environment for the western American continent. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Humans And Deer Are Killing Earth's Largest Organism Together," 18 Oct. 2018 This season — its 40th — will feature 500 diverse performers representing 17 cultures with origins on five continents, from AguaClara Flamenco (Spanish flamenco) to Ye Feng (Chinese contemporary). Claudia Bauer, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco’s Ethnic Dance Fest celebrates 40 years," 12 July 2018 Down Under during 2013’s The Truth About Love tour featured 46 sold out shows on the continent - including a record-breaking 18-night run at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena. Bob Allen, Billboard, "Pink's Beautiful Trauma Tour Has Already Earned $100 Million, Could Gross $275 Million Total," 14 June 2018 The tournament will spread 80 games involving 48 teams across this continent, from coast to coast: 60 in the U.S. and 10 each in Canada and Mexico. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "2026 World Cup: United States, Mexico, Canada win bid to host," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'continent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of continent

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for continent

Adjective

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin continent-, continens, from present participle of continēre to hold in — more at contain

Noun

in senses 1 & 2, from Latin continent-, continens, present participle of continēre, to hold together, contain; in senses 3 & 4, from Latin continent-, continens continuous mass of land, mainland, from continent-, continens, present participle — see continent entry 1

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The first known use of continent was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for continent

continent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of continent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

medical : able to control your bladder and bowels

continent

noun

English Language Learners Definition of continent (Entry 2 of 2)

: one of the great divisions of land (such as North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, or Antarctica) of the Earth
chiefly British : the countries of Europe except for Great Britain and Ireland

continent

noun
con·​ti·​nent | \ ˈkän-tə-nənt How to pronounce continent (audio) \

Kids Definition of continent

: one of the great divisions of land on the globe—Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, or South America

continent

adjective
con·​ti·​nent | \ ˈkänt-ᵊn-ənt How to pronounce continent (audio) \

Medical Definition of continent

: exercising continence

Other Words from continent

continently adverb

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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