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

Some of the continent’s weakest lenders, such as small Italian banks, weren’t included in the test, and no Greek or Portuguese banks were tested. Philip Georgiadis, WSJ, "Barclays, Lloyds Fare Poorly in EU’s Bank Stress Tests," 2 Nov. 2018 Malawi, for example, remains one of the poorest countries in Africa and is one of the continent’s main recipients of foreign aid. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Melania’s trip to Africa says a lot about US foreign policy under Trump," 9 Oct. 2018 The thinking is that as the ice age ended and the enormous Laurentide ice sheet atop North America began to retreat, the resulting meltwater fed a bevy of large lakes atop the depressed surface of the continent. Christopher Mooney, BostonGlobe.com, "Scientists may have solved a huge riddle that led to more than 1,000 years of cold on Earth. It doesn’t bode well," 12 July 2018 The new division will also work closely with existing UMG operations in non-French speaking parts of the continent. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Universal Music Expands Into French-Speaking Africa," 11 July 2018 Eritrea’s enormous potential for tourism—a sparkling coast and, in Asmara, one of the continent’s most beautiful cities with a wealth of Art Deco buildings—has been mostly squandered. The Economist, "Ethiopia and Eritrea put an end to two decades of conflict," 10 July 2018 In 2000, one of the continent’s most popular IUDs, the Mirena, received FDA approval for use in the U.S. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "The IUD Vs. The World," 28 June 2018 Today’s Must-Reads Bloomberg’s Alan Crawford ponders the prospect of an EU without Angela Merkel, and says the nativism that has swept much of the continent imperils the German leader and the whole EU project. Ian Wishart, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit Bulletin: Pandora’s Box," 27 June 2018 In recent years, a mysterious fungal disease has been hitting baobabs trees in certain parts of the continent. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Something Is Killing Off Africa’s Largest Baobab Trees," 12 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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