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1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a continent.
2. often Continental Of or relating to the mainland of Europe; European.
3. Continental Of or relating to the American colonies during and immediately after the American Revolution.
4. Meteorology
a. Of or relating to the relatively dry air typically found or originating over large landmasses.
b. Of or relating to climates characterized by a wide seasonal variation in temperatures.
5. Used as an intensive: "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, / The continental liar from the state of Maine." (Grover Cleveland).
1. often Continental
a. An inhabitant of a continent.
b. An inhabitant of the mainland of Europe; a European.
2. A native of the continental United States living or working in Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.
3. Continental A soldier in the American army during the American Revolution.
4. A piece of paper money issued by the Continental Congress during the American Revolution.

con′ti·nen′tal·ism n.
con′ti·nen′tal·ist n.
con′ti·nen·tal′i·ty (-nĕn-tăl′ĭ-tē) n.
con′ti·nen′tal·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. an attitude or policy of favoritism or partiality to a continent.
2. a policy advocating a restriction of political or economie relations to the countries of one continent. — continentalist, n.
See also: Politics
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
(21.) For an in-depth analysis of China's 'Continentalism' see, Kent Calder, The New Continentalism: Energy and Twenty-First-Century Eurasian Geopolitics, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).
African queer scholarship critiques this cultural normativity passing itself off as a protective continentalism. The adjudication of relations between non-normative sexualities and African identities now constitutes a primary arena for epistemic claims about Africa's heterogeneity.
The climatic conditions of this area are typical of a temperate maritime/continental climate with significant influence of continentalism, which manifests itself in very low winter air temperatures, often exceeding -20 [degrees]C.
(21.) "Thus, the agreement integrated the auto industry on a continental basis, and for Canadian policymakers, paradoxically, this continentalism was a form of economic nationalism." Anastakis, Auto Pact, 8.
The Multi-Level State: Canada in the Semi-Periphery of Both Continentalism and Globalization.
The United States of America, in the guise of Pan-Americanism or North-American continentalism. Literary authors and critics have been at the fore-front in feeling and resisting this adverse and overshadowing influence, and have launched from time to time powerful movements to assert their literary selfhood as a nation.
Suffice it to conclude that Nkrumah passed on to future generations the ideological approach to African unity of continentalism, being the geographical unity of Africa as a continent, most probably based on principles of socialist solidarity.
It was a huge thing during playtime in our lives, the boys especially." (60) Thus, the broader continentalism that accelerated in this period, particularly economically, was also present in childhood play cultures.
Vaughan believes he is "arguing (through the examples of these filmmakers) on behalf of a cinema that, in the tradition of Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze, challenges the classical division between interior and exterior, real and imaginary, subject and object" (205), but the result is posturing Continentalism, not philosophical argument.
In the 1930s, highlighting threats of cultural continentalism and excessive commercialism, and calling for universal radio service that would not be viable through market forces alone, the Canadian Radio League assembled a blue-ribbon coalition to persuade a Conservative government to create the CBC.
Due to its position, it has a temperate climate, with a pronounced degree of continentalism, characterized by big contrasts from summer to winter.