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

Scientists believe that the creatures originated off the western coast of the African continent, and traveled along westward surface currents to reach South America. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ancient Pacific Whales Lived On Land Like Rhinos," 4 Apr. 2019 The toughest part of an excursion to Africa is deciding which part of the continent to explore. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "6 Luxury Pre-Planned Trips You Need to Book Immediately," 15 Mar. 2019 And the success in Zambia also helped catalyze a larger movement across the African continent: education ministries in Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Nigeria are now developing their own Teaching at the Right Level pilots. Meagan Neal, Vox, "It’s hard to design good policies. This simple idea can help governments do it.," 21 Dec. 2018 The bottom was embroidered with a map of the continent's 54 sovereign states. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Beyoncé's Global Citizen Festival 2018 Looks Were Full of Hidden Details," 3 Dec. 2018 He is also recognized for his work chronicling disasters in what was then Biafra (today part of Nigeria), the conflict in Northern Ireland and the ravages of the AIDS epidemic across the African continent. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 According to the 2019 Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, six of the ten healthiest countries in the world are on the continent. Vogue, "These Are the Healthiest Countries in the World," 26 Feb. 2019 While exact numbers are secret, experts believe U.S. has around 180 B61 tactical nuclear bombs on the continent—some 20 in Germany and the rest spread across Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "In Germany, a Cold War Deal to Host U.S. Nuclear Weapons Is Now in Question," 12 Feb. 2019 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

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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