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1. One of the principal land masses of the earth, usually regarded as including Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.
2. Continent The mainland of Europe. Used with the.
[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.]
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.