- a continent bounded by Europe and the Arctic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. About 16,000,000 sq. mi. (41,440,000 sq. km).
- the largest of the continents, bordering on the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean and Red Seas in the west. It includes the large peninsulas of Asia Minor, India, Arabia, and Indochina and the island groups of Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka); contains the mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush, Himalayas, Pamirs, Tian Shan, Urals, and Caucasus, the great plateaus of India, Iran, and Tibet, vast plains and deserts, and the valleys of many large rivers including the Mekong, Irrawaddy, Indus, Ganges, Tigris, and Euphrates. Pop: 3 917 508 000 (2005 est). Area: 44 391 162 sq km (17 139 445 sq miles)
c.1300, from Latin Asia, from Greek Asia, speculated to be from Akkadian asu “to go out, to rise,” in reference to the sun, thus “the land of the sunrise.”
World’s largest, joined to to the west, forming .