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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Their latest fine dining effort, Marigold Club, will be inside an art deco space and will serve continental cuisine. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 13 Jan. 2022 Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index rose less than 0.1% to a record close. Hardika Singh, WSJ, 5 Jan. 2022 On an agreeable morning, guests enter the elegant, airy space to choose from a lavish buffet spread — from fresh dim sum and South Asian delicacies to continental bits — before settling onto beachfront tables on the sand. Travis Levius, Travel + Leisure, 4 Jan. 2022 That might not be the case everywhere, continental CDC says. Jonathan Ponciano, Forbes, 26 Dec. 2021 Of the eight teams to play in the last four continental championship matches, five have come from the EPL, with Liverpool making it twice. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2021 With a single quote from a letter by Alexander Hamilton to his fiancee, the author captures the shock and dismay of continental officers at the betrayal by Benedict Arnold. Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2021 And for a time, those layers would have been stacked in neat layers on top of one another, but the Earth had something else in mind, during the last push of the continental collisions that created the Appalachians. Dennis Pillion |, al, 7 Dec. 2021 Indonesia sits between two continental plates on what is known as the Ring of Fire, a band around the basin of the Pacific Ocean that leads to high levels of tectonic and volcanic activity. Mochamad Andri, Masrur Jamaluddin And Rhea Mogul, CNN, 6 Dec. 2021 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

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.

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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 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Continental.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of continental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or located on a continent
: of or relating to the countries of Europe except for Great Britain and Ireland
: characteristic of Europe



English Language Learners Definition of continental (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person from Continental Europe


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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