continental drift

noun

Definition of continental drift

: a slow movement of the continents on a deep-seated viscous zone within the earth — compare plate tectonics

Examples of continental drift in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But many scientists still found the expanding Earth hypothesis more plausible than the theory of continental drift, which remained radical until the end of World War II. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Been Wrong Before: The Expanding Earth Theory," 3 Aug. 2018 John Tuzo Wilson developed plate tectonics between 1962 and 1968 and thus explained continental drift and the constant reshaping of the earth’s surface. David Wootton, WSJ, "‘Origin Story’ Review: The View From Above," 18 May 2018 This discovery helped transform the controversial notion of continental drift into the far more powerful and explanatory theory of plate tectonics. The Economist, "Sing a song of sonar," 10 Mar. 2018 Scientists also were trying to resolve debates about continental drift, the idea that continents slowly move along Earth’s surface. Gary Robbins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Walter Munk's 100th birthday stirs memories of Scripps golden era," 1 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'continental drift.' 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 continental drift

1926, in the meaning defined above

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29 Nov 2018

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The first known use of continental drift was in 1926

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More Definitions for continental drift

continental drift

noun

English Language Learners Definition of continental drift

: the very slow movement of the continents on the surface of the Earth

More from Merriam-Webster on continental drift

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about continental drift

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