continental shelf

noun
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of continental shelf

:a shallow submarine plain of varying width forming a border to a continent and typically ending in a comparatively steep slope to the deep ocean floor

Recent Examples of continental shelf from the Web

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

Illustration of continental shelf

First Known Use of continental shelf

1892


CONTINENTAL SHELF Defined for English Language Learners

continental shelf

noun

Definition of continental shelf for English Language Learners

  • : the part of a continent that lies under the ocean and slopes down to the ocean floor


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