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

This week at the Design Indaba Festival in Cape Town, IKEA launched Överallt, its new, limited-edition collection featuring ten African artists from five different countries across the continent. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "IKEA's Newest Collection Celebrates African Design," 1 Mar. 2019 Most memorable of all was the improbable giant iceberg from Scandinavia that Chanel shipped across the continent for the Fall 2010 show. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Legendary Designer Karl Lagerfeld Has Died," 19 Feb. 2019 Some Australian mitochondrial lineages are confined to specific regions of Australia, while others are spread out across the continent, thanks to how indigenous women moved around in Australia’s distant past. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "DNA may reconnect Aboriginal Australian remains with modern communities," 27 Dec. 2018 While Meghan was discussing higher education today, her in-laws, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were spreading holiday cheer to the troops across the continent. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Attended a Meeting on Higher Education in the Commonwealth," 5 Dec. 2018 And just this week, the European New Car Assessment Program — a safety coalition led by a number of governments and transit agencies from across the continent — released a report that criticized Tesla’s promotion of Autopilot. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla stopped promoting the ‘Full Self-Driving’ option for its cars," 20 Oct. 2018 But many countries are still struggling to absorb the nearly 2 million newcomers spread out across the continent — and dealing with the xenophobia that has erupted in the wake of the influx. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Far-right rallies in Germany descend into violence," 28 Aug. 2018 Victoria is known as the grandmother of Europe as her children married into royal families across the continent. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Prince Harry Is Related to the Romanovs, the Last Russian Tsars," 16 July 2018 Roughly 550 miles east of Madagascar, Mauritius may also be home to a lost continent hiding beneath the waves. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Islands in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for continent

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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