Meaning of continental divide

continen'tal divide'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a divide separating river systems that flow to opposite sides of a continent.
  2. (caps.) (in North America) the line of summits of the Rocky Mountains, separating streams flowing toward the Gulf of California and the Pacific from those flowing toward the Gulf of Mexico, Hudson Bay, and the Arctic Ocean.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.