continent

adjective
con·​ti·​nent | \ˈkän-tə-nənt \

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, 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

Depending on how hot the fire is below, smoke can either hang low near the ground or be lofted high into the sky, traveling across entire continents. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Scientists fly through plumes of wildfire smoke to unravel its mysteries," 21 Nov. 2018 The show filmed on location across multiple continents. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Romanoffs, from Mad Men creator Matt Weiner, feels like a period piece about the present," 12 Oct. 2018 Hacksaw might have a longer range to attack targets across continents. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The First U.S. Hypersonic Weapons: Arrow and Hacksaw," 21 Aug. 2018 After a six-month manhunt across at least three continents, he was captured in Guatemala and faces trial. The Economist, "Latin America’s new media are growing up," 14 July 2018 The latest move escalates a war between rival media companies being waged across two continents and involving two different transactions exceeding $100 billion in value in total. New York Times, "Comcast and Fox Engage in Bidding War for Control of Sky," 11 July 2018 Ford also serves on the board for CI's Global Conservation Fund that has worked to protect more than 40 million acres across three continents. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Jones honored by Indianapolis Zoo: Harrison Ford wins award for wildlife conservation," 10 July 2018 As of February 2018, the virus had spread to 86 countries across four continents, according to a report from the World Health Organization. Jaclyn Jeffrey-wilensky, STAT, "Researchers reveal the sharpest image to date of the Zika virus," 26 June 2018 Everything during these seven events revolves around the escape from reality, partly thanks to the spectacular Tomorrowland MainStage, and the connection between the People of Tomorrow across the continents. Billboard Radio China, Billboard, "Billboard Radio China Airs New EDM Show, 'Unite With Tomorrowland On Air'," 15 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

the Continent : the countries of Europe except for Great Britain and Ireland

continent

noun
con·​ti·​nent | \ˈkän-tə-nənt \

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 \

Medical Definition of continent 

: exercising continence

Other Words from continent

continently adverb

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Comments on continent

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