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continent Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun one of the large landmasses of the earth
    • there are seven continents
    • pioneers had to cross the continent on foot
  2. noun the European mainland
    • Englishmen like to visit the Continent but they wouldn't like to live there
  3. adjective having control over urination and defecation
  4. adjective satellite abstaining from sexual intercourse
    celibate.
    • celibate priests
WordNet

Con"ti*nent adjective
Etymology
L. continens, -entis, prop., p. pr. of continere to hold together, to repress: cf. F. continent. See Contain.
Definitions
  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.
Con"ti*nent noun
Etymology
L. continens, prop., a holding together: cf. F. continent. See Continent, a.
Definitions
  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.

Webster 1913