Continent – Glossary Definition

Summary:

Want the definition of continent? Learn the meaning of continent, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!

Wondering about the definition of continent? Keep reading to learn the meaning of continent, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!

map of continent of Europe continent meaning
In Europe, especially if you’re in the United Kingdom or Ireland, saying “The Continent” usually refers to the European mainland. Taken by C. Lue via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

What is a Continent?

Continents, in geography, are the large landmasses which the world is divided into. There is a lot of debate as to what constitutes a continent, both geographically and politically. So much so, in fact, that there are several schools of thought as to how many continents there are.

The most common answer, especially in the English-speaking world, China, India, and some other countries, is that there are 7 continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia (largest to smallest)

Related Read: How Many Continents Are There?

More on Continents

In Russia, parts of Eastern Europe, and Japan, many scholars still go with a 6 continent view, where Europe and Asia are considered one continent, known as Eurasia.

In some educational systems, especially those in Latin America, they teach a different 6 continent view, where all of North America and South America are considered to be one continent. When this is the case, then separately, North America and South America are each subcontinents of the continent known as America.

Historically, academics used to use a 4 continent model, where the “Old World” was one continent (Africa and Eurasia), the “New World” was one continent (the Americas), along with Antarctica and Australia.

Also, in Europe, especially if you’re in the United Kingdom or Ireland, saying “The Continent” usually refers to the European mainland.

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