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A subcontinent is a large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent. By dictionary entries, the term subcontinent signifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent,[1] or "a vast and more or less self-contained subdivision of a continent."[2]

Geographical map of the Indian subcontinent

Used on its own in English, the phrase "the Subcontinent" commonly refers to the Indian subcontinent,[3][4] which includes the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.


  1. ^ rd English Dictionary 2nd edition. 1989. Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. 2002. Merriam-Webster. retrieved 11 March 2007.
  3. ^ The history of India – By John McLeod
  4. ^ Milton Walter Meyer, South Asia: A Short History of the Subcontinent, pages 1, Adams Littlefield, 1976, ISBN 0-8226-0034-X