Acontinental shelfis a gently sloping area that extends outward from thebeachfar into the ocean. A continental shelf is a half of the ocean, but additionally a part of the continent. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon , s.v. The English noun was launched in the mid-16th century, shortened from continent land , adapted from Latin terra continens “continuous landmass”. From the sixteenth century the English noun continent was derived from the term continent land, which means steady or connected land and translated from the Latin terra continens.