Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One of the principal land masses of the earth, usually regarded as including Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.
  • n. The mainland of Europe. Used with the.
  • adj. Exercising continence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Exercising self-restraint; controlled, temperate with respect to one's bodily needs or passions.
  • n. Land (as opposed to the water).
  • n. A large contiguous landmass considered independent of its islands, peninsulas etc. Specifically, the Old World continent of Europe–Asia–Africa. See the Continent.
  • n. 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Serving to restrain or limit; restraining; opposing.
  • adj. Exercising restraint as to the indulgence of desires or passions; temperate; moderate.
  • adj. Abstaining from sexual intercourse; exercising restraint upon the sexual appetite; esp., abstaining from illicit sexual intercourse; chaste.
  • adj. Not interrupted; connected; continuous.
  • n. That which contains anything; a receptacle.
  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Restrained; moderate; temperate.
  • Moderate or abstinent in the indulgence of the sexual passion; maintaining continence; chaste.
  • Restraining; opposing.
  • Containing; being the container: with of.
  • Continuous; connected; not interrupted.
  • n. That which contains or comprises; a container or holder.
  • n. That which is contained or comprised; contents; the amount held or that can be held, as by a vessel.
  • n. In physical geography, one of the largest landmasses of the globe.
  • n. [capitalized] In a special sense, in English literature, the mainland of Europe, as distinguished from the British islands: as, to travel on the Continent.
  • n. Land in a general sense, as distinguished from water; terra firma.
  • n. [capitalized] Same as Encratite.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having control over urination and defecation
  • n. the European mainland
  • adj. abstaining from sexual intercourse
  • n. one of the large landmasses of the earth

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin (terra) continēns, continent-, continuous (land), present participle of continēre, to hold together; see contain.
Middle English, from Latin continēns, present participle of continēre, to restrain; see contain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • Mark, the antarctic continent is permanently below freezing, meaning the ice balance *in the continent* is primarily responsive to precipitation and ice flow rates rather than directly to temps.

    Grapevine: Mann to testify on 27th July « Climate Audit

  • Their claim to possession of the entire North American continent is based on an impressive array of statistics, historical records, and recent incidents of real or alleged abuses by the so-called White Supremacists, who allegedly stole the continent from the original inhabitants and have continued to oppress them ever since the so-called "discovery" of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492.

    Aztec, Mexica, or Alien?

  • With policy at a roadblock in many European capitals, and much initiative focused upon national rather than international issues, the continent is at an effective standstill except for momentum generated by Brussels, especially through the EU's 2020 initiative.

    EU Must Act Fast and Share Knowledge With China

  • “The America our forefathers brought forth on this continent is a market — a free market in power, goods and services, entertainment, and spirituality,” McDougall points out.

    They Made America

  • If instead he was actually speaking of all Americans (excluding, presumably, Native Americans, for whom this continent is their "original homeland"), then Jews are, in a basic sense, the most (not least) attenuated from their "original homeland."

    IsThatLegal?

  • Salim urged Africans to move with speed on the path of economic development, which he termed the continent's second liberation.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Our continent is a single ecological unit, and the co-operative development and protection of the resources of this continent is a challenge we jointly face as each year we make decisions concerning our future.

    Joint Use of Energy Resources

  • The time for imaginative action that would encompass more than a continent is here.

    Atlantic Trade Community, Foundation of the Free World

  • We realize that the defence of this continent is a joint operation with the United States and that is why both countries have carried forward into the post-war world their co-operation in continental defence.

    Canada in 1953

  • Yet, as you are well aware, among the popular delusions that have not yet wholly died on this continent is the delusion that freedom was invented in the New World.

    Canada's Partnership in Freedom

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