supercontinent

noun
su·​per·​con·​ti·​nent | \ ˈsü-pər-ˌkän-tə-nənt How to pronounce supercontinent (audio) , -ˌkänt-nənt \

Definition of supercontinent

: a hypothetical former large continent from which other continents are held to have broken off and drifted away

Examples of supercontinent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The mammal is the most complete and well preserved skeleton of a gondwanatherian, which is a mammal that lived on the ancient southern supercontinent Gondwana, which is now the continents of the southern hemisphere. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This 'crazy beast' was a weird early mammal that lived among dinosaurs," 18 Dec. 2020 The story of the Himalaya begins some 200 million years ago, as the supercontinent of Pangea began to split into pieces. Science, "Why Mount Everest keeps changing its height," 8 Dec. 2020 Some 85 million years ago, the islands that would become New Zealand split off from the rest of the supercontinent of Gondwana and evolved in isolation with just a few native mammal species. Mara Johnson-groh, Popular Science, "New Zealand’s bold rat-control campaign sees its first wave of successes," 26 May 2020 Earlier research has found that ice sheets formed across Antarctica before the final breakup of the southern supercontinent Gondwana into the present-day Southern Hemisphere, which includes South America and Antarctica. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Frogs hopped around the Antarctic 40 million years ago," 23 Apr. 2020 At least three times in our planet's 4.54-billion-year history, the ever-shifting landmasses glommed into mighty supercontinents, only to eventually reverse course and break apart. National Geographic, "A tectonic plate may have peeled apart—and that could shrink the Atlantic Ocean," 6 May 2019 During that time, Earth’s separate land masses formed one supercontinent, Pangea. Lucas Joel, New York Times, "Scientists Find 2 Mating Flies Trapped in Prehistoric Amber," 2 Apr. 2020 The pan in pandemic is the same one in pandemonium, a description of uproar that originally referred to the place where all demons dwelled; and Pangea, the vast supercontinent, comprising all the land on Earth, that is thought to have once existed. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "Coronavirus: A Glossary of Terms to Help You Understand the Unfolding Crisis," 9 Mar. 2020 Even great swaths of the wet Gondwana rainforests, the only living link to that primordial supercontinent, have burned. Tishani Doshi, WSJ, "A Brush With Fragile Bushland," 22 Jan. 2020

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

1960, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of supercontinent was in 1960

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Last Updated

30 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Supercontinent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supercontinent. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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