Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of continent
Meaning of continent by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈkɒntɪnənt/

    Etymology 1

    From Latin continēntem, noun use of present participle of continēre ( “to contain” ) .


    continent ( plural: continents )

    1. ( obsolete ) Land ( as opposed to the water ).
    2. ( obsolete in general sense ) A large contiguous landmass considered independent of its islands, peninsulas etc. Specifically, the Old World continent of Europe–Asia–Africa. See the Continent .
    3. Each of the main continuous land-masses on the earth's surface, now generally regarded as seven in number, including their related islands, continental shelfs etc .
    Derived terms
    See also
    • ( continents ) continent; Africa,‎ Antarctica,‎ Asia,‎ Australia,‎ Europe,‎ North America,‎ South America ( Category: en:Continents )
    • Africa
    • America
    • Antarctica
    • Asia
    • Australia
    • Europe
    • Eurasia
    • Gondwana
    • Laurasia
    • North America
    • Oceania
    • Pangaea
    • South America

    Etymology 2

    From Old French continent, from Latin continentem ( “continuous; holding together” ), present participle of continēre ( “to contain” ) .


    continent ( comparative more continent, superlative most continent )

    1. Exercising self-restraint; controlled, temperate with respect to one's bodily needs or passions.

Explanation of continent by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. abstaining from sexual intercourse

    2. having control over urination and defecation

    1. the European mainland

    2. Englishmen like to visit the Continent but they wouldn't like to live there
    3. one of the large landmasses of the earth

    4. there are seven continents
      pioneers had to cross the continent on foot

    Definition of continent by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Continent a. [L. continens, -entis, prop., p. pr. of continere to hold together, to repress: cf. F. continent. See Contain.]
      1. Serving to restrain or limit; restraining; opposing. [Obs.] Shak.

      2. Exercising restraint as to the indulgence of desires or passions; temperate; moderate.

      Have a continent forbearance till the speed of his rage goes slower. Shak.

      3. Abstaining from sexual intercourse; exercising restraint upon the sexual appetite; esp., abstaining from illicit sexual intercourse; chaste.

      My past life

      Hath been as continent, as chaste, as true,

      As I am now unhappy. Shak.

      4. Not interrupted; connected; continuous; as, “a continent fever”. [Obs.]

      The northeast part of Asia is, if not continent with the west side of America, yet certainly it is the least disoined by sea of all that coast. Berrewood.

    2. Continent, n. [L. continens, prop., a holding together: cf. F. continent. See Continent, a.]
      1. That which contains anything; a receptacle. [Obs.]

      The smaller continent which we call a pipkin. Bp. Kennet.

      2. One of the grand divisions of land on the globe; the main land; specifically ( Phys. Geog. ), a large body of land differing from an island, not merely in its size, but in its structure, which is that of a large basin bordered by mountain chains; as, “the continent of North America”.

      ☞ The continents are now usually regarded as six in number: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. But other large bodies of land are also reffered to as continents; as, the Antarctic continent; the continent of Greenland. Europe, Asia, and Africa are often grouped together as the Eastern Continent, and North and South America as the Western Continent.

      The Continent, the main land of Europe, as distinguished from the islands, especially from England.

    3. Encratite n. [L. Encratitae, pl., fr. Gr. self-disciplined; in + strength.] ( Eccl. Hist. ) One of a sect in the 2d century who abstained from marriage, wine, and animal food; -- called also Continent.