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continental Continental Congress in the US, each of the three congresses held by the American colonies in revolt against British rule in 1774, 1775, and 1776 respectively. The second Congress, convened in the wake of the battles at Lexington and Concord, created a Continental Army, which fought and eventually won the War of American Independence.
Continental Divide the main series of mountain ridges in North America, chiefly the crests of the Rocky Mountains, which form a watershed separating the rivers flowing eastwards into the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico from those flowing westwards into the Pacific.
continental drift the gradual movement of the continents across the earth's surface through geological time.

The reality of continental drift was confirmed in the 1960s, leading to the theory of plate tectonics. It is believed that a single supercontinent called Pangaea broke up to form Gondwana and Laurasia, which further split to form the present-day continents.
Continental System Napoleon's strategy of blockading Britain (1806–13), by which British ships were prohibited from entering the ports of France and her allies. The term is recorded in English from the mid 19th century.

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con·ti·nen·tal / ˌkäntnˈentl/ • adj. 1. forming or belonging to a continent: continental Antarctica. 2. coming from or characteristic of mainland Europe: traditional continental cuisine. 3. (also Continental) pertaining to the 13 original colonies of the U.S. • n. 1. an inhabitant of mainland Europe. 2. (Continental) a member of the colonial army in the American Revolution. 3. (also Continental) a piece of paper currency used at the time of the American Revolution: the redemption of Continentals by the government. DERIVATIVES: con·ti·nen·tal·ly adv.

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