Words related to continental
1550s, "continuous tract of land," from continent land (mid-15c.), translating Medieval Latin terra continens "continuous land," from Latin continens "continuous," present participle of continere "to hold together, enclose," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").
As "one of the large land masses of the globe" from 1610s. As "the mainland of Europe" (from the point of view of Britain), from c. 1600.