con·​ti·​nen·​tal | \ ˌkän-tə-ˈnen-tᵊl How to pronounce continental (audio) \

Definition of continental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a continent continental waters specifically, often capitalized : of or relating to the continent of Europe excluding the British Isles
b often capitalized : of, relating to, or being a cuisine derived from the classic dishes of Europe and especially France
2a often capitalized : of or relating to the colonies later forming the U.S. Continental Congress
b : being the part of the U.S. on the North American continent also : being the part of the U.S. comprising the lower 48 states



Definition of continental (Entry 2 of 2)

1a often capitalized : an American soldier of the Revolution in the Continental army
b(1) : a piece of Continental paper currency
(2) : the least bit not worth a continental
2 : an inhabitant of a continent and especially the continent of Europe

Other Words from continental


continentally \ ˌkän-​tə-​ˈnen-​tə-​lē How to pronounce continental (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for continental

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of continental in a Sentence

Adjective They will be touring Continental Europe. differences between Britain and its Continental neighbors The hotel combines American comfort with continental elegance. Noun complained that today's youth doesn't care a continental about their elders
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The next year, mainstream political parties did suffer at the polls when Europeans voted for their continental Parliament. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 Its seersucker fabric still provides breathability and a continental vibe that make it at home for beachside weddings. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 16 May 2022 Created as a symbol of post–World War II continental solidarity, Eurovision dates back to the 1950s and has gifted the world the brilliance of ABBA, Celine Dion, and the Chicken Lady. Patrick Caldwell, The New Republic, 13 May 2022 Still, there is growing fear that the fighting in Ukraine may remain a source of continental and global instability for months or even years. Elena Becatoros And Jon Gambrell, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 Still, there is growing fear that the fighting in Ukraine may remain a source of continental and global instability for months or even years. Elena Becatoros,, 11 May 2022 After the Sounders drew 2-2 in Mexico City last week, Raul Ruidiaz scored a pair of goals and Nicolas Lodeiro added a late insurance strike to seal the continental championship with a 5-2 aggregate win. Seth Vertelney, USA TODAY, 5 May 2022 There are good reasons not to impose continental ancestry categories. Anna C. F. Lewis, STAT, 4 May 2022 Your sideboard buffet is in the Louis XV style, is continental and likely dates to around 1920. oregonlive, 4 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hosted by enthusiastic young continentals, songs are scored by a combination of dial-in votes from viewers and jurists representing the participating countries. Amy Thomson,, 24 Apr. 2020 Kenyatta rejected concerns that a free trade deal with the United States would undermine a new continental free trade agreement in Africa aimed at creating the world’s largest common market. Tom Odula,, 6 Feb. 2020 Today, greater migration rates among college graduates often necessitates cross-country, if not cross-continental, travel. Wired, 22 Aug. 2019 Many of these airlines also have different policies for intra-continental, short-haul flights, which are not included here. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, 5 July 2018 Organizers of the Asian Games—a pan-continental, multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia—have confirmed eSports will be a demonstration event later this year. Chris Morris, Fortune, 28 June 2018 Goals, fame and second-tier continental, as well as league success, came to the Brazilian, who became only the second man to break the world transfer record twice, all before his 21st birthday., 27 May 2018 But the most fun part is spinning the globe itself and watching the unfamiliar continental and oceanic formations of times past. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2018 The Confederations Cup is a trophy competed for by the seven current reigning continental or world champions and a host nation, in every odd year following a round of continental tournaments., 2 May 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of continental


1755, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for continental


continent entry 1 + -al entry 1


derivative of continental entry 1

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Time Traveler for continental

Time Traveler

The first known use of continental was in 1755

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Dictionary Entries Near continental



continental block

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Statistics for continental

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Continental.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for continental


con·​ti·​nen·​tal | \ ˌkän-tə-ˈnen-tᵊl How to pronounce continental (audio) \

Kids Definition of continental

1 : being the mainland part and not including islands the continental United States
2 often capitalized : of the colonies later forming the United States the Continental Army

More from Merriam-Webster on continental

Nglish: Translation of continental for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of continental for Arabic Speakers


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