There are 2 main definitions of continent in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

continent1

Syllabification: con·ti·nent
Pronunciation: /ˈkänt(ə)nənt
 
/

noun

1Any of the world’s main continuous expanses of land (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America).
Example sentences
  • This steep sided sea flows like a meeting place between the two continents of Africa and Asia.
  • The Middle East and tropical Africa were the last continents that Europeans colonized.
  • In fact, we know that tornadoes have occurred on all continents except Antarctica.
1.1 (also the Continent) The mainland of Europe as distinct from the British Isles.
1.2A mainland contrasted with islands: the maritime zone is richer in varieties of plant than the continent
More example sentences
  • Soon Sasha found herself riding in Hardy's carrier under the strange stars of the island continent.
  • The island continent, Atlantis, began to tremble once more with extreme fury.
  • Although it was a disaster it brought out some great characteristics of mateship and sacrifice for this little island continent of ours.

Origin

mid 16th century (denoting a continuous tract of land): from Latin terra continens 'continuous land'.

Definition of continent in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of continent in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

continent2

Syllabification: con·ti·nent
Pronunciation: /ˈkänt(ə)nənt
 
/

adjective

1Able to control movements of the bowels and bladder.
Example sentences
  • We compared the risk of urinary incontinence in the daughters of incontinent women with that in the daughters of continent women.
  • This provides a mechanism to influence the two muscle groups to work in concert for continent urine storage and release.
  • The patients in the study were losing the ability to dress themselves, bathe, use the toilet, clean themselves, and remain continent.
2Exercising self-restraint, especially sexually.
Example sentences
  • They believed that the church should be made up of women and men who were sexually continent and who also abstained from wine and meat.
  • They were sexually continent all their lives.

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'characterized by self-restraint'): from Latin continent- 'holding together, restraining oneself', from continere (see contain).

Derivatives

continence

1
noun
Example sentences
  • And it was St. Augustine who proclaimed, ‘Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.’
  • Self-reports of urinary continence showed no difference between groups.
  • A program which establishes continence is a necessary custodial program.

continently

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • These are the potty training books, in which the heroine gets a new potty, expresses doubts, gives it a whirl, succeeds, buys new big-girl underwear, and lives continently ever after.
  • They lived together continently for a year, and Birgitta was especially fervent in her prayers and ascetic devotions.
  • In any event, if the conditions I mention about your living continently are met then you should be able to receive absolution and then the Eucharist.

Definition of continent in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.