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.
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·tali·ty (-nĕn-tălĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.