Definition of continental shelf in English:

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continental shelf

Pronunciation: /ˌkän(t)əˈnen(t)l SHelf/


The area of seabed around a large landmass where the sea is relatively shallow compared with the open ocean. The continental shelf is geologically part of the continental crust.
Example sentences
  • We live on a small island that stands on the continental shelf, a shallow area of seabed that joins Britain to mainland Europe.
  • The continental shelf is a relatively shallow area of seabed over which a great deal of marine life is found.
  • The continental slope connects the continental shelf and the oceanic crust.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·ti·nen·tal shelf

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