I'm looking for one phrase that refers to the entire landmass that makes Europe, Africa, and Asia without having to name each continent separately, much like how I can say the Americas to refer to both North and South America.

If anyone has a suggestion for a term like continent but which implies large land masses regardless of continents they make up, thus grouping the Americas together as one entity and the other three continents as a separate entity, that would be nice as well, but I'm mostly interested in the above.

  • 2
    "Europe and its contiguous neighbors" might work. Or simply "the Eastern Hemisphere", if you don't need to be too specific and don't mind including the occasional "small" island,
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:25

4 Answers 4


I think you are looking for:

Afro-Eurasia: Afroeurasia, or Eurafrasia, known in antiquity as the Ecumene and most commonly known since the Age of Exploration as the Old World:

  • is the largest landmass on Earth, primarily in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres. The term is a portmanteau of its constituent parts: Africa and Eurasia, the latter conventionally divided into Europe and Asia. Afro-Eurasia encompasses 84,980,532 square kilometers (32,811,166 sq mi) and has a population of approximately 6 billion people or roughly 85% of the world population. In geopolitical contexts, it is sometimes known as the World Island, a term coined by H.J. Mackinder.


enter image description here


As noted in other answers, Afro-Eurasia is the supercontinent that encompasses Africa, Europe, and Asia.

  • I had to pick the answer that first answered my main question. But thank you for answering my side question also :)
    – dsollen
    Dec 15, 2015 at 18:43
  • … or a continent.
    – bjb568
    Dec 16, 2015 at 4:16

Well, it's not one word, but the Old World (Wikipedia) refers to the parts of the world known to Europeans before European contact with the Americas, and in particular, includes Europe, Africa, and Asia, by contrast with the "New World" of the Americas.

However, in some cases, particularly when used as an adjective, it can be reasonably hyphenated -- such as "old-world charm" (Merriam Webster), and then it may count as one word.


Europe + Asia = Eurasia

Europe + Asia (north of the Himalaya foothills) + northern Africa + the northern and central parts of the Arabian Peninsula = Palearctic


Africa + Europe + Asia = Afro-Eurasia!


Thanks to @choster for pointing it out!


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.