AskDefine | Define jungle

Dictionary Definition



1 an impenetrable equatorial forest
2 a location marked by an intense competition and struggle for survival
3 a place where hoboes camp [syn: hobo camp]

User Contributed Dictionary




1776, via Hindustani जंगल / (jangal), from etyl sa sc=Deva.


  1. A large, undeveloped, humid forest that is home to many wild plants and animals.
  2. Any place where people behave ruthlessly and as if they are fighting for their lives.
    It’s a jungle out there.
  3. A style of electronic music.


large, undeveloped, humid forest
colloquial: place where people behave ruthlessly
style of electronic music
none yet



From jungle.


  • /ʒœ̃ɡl/


  1. jungle

Extensive Definition

Jungle usually refers to a dense forest in a hot climate, such as a tropical rainforest. About 6% of the Earth's land mass is classified as jungle. Jungles are vital to sustaining the ecosystems of the Earth as we know it. About 57% of all species live in jungle environments
The word jungle originates from a Sanskrit word jangala, meaning "desert". In many languages of the Indian subcontinent, including Indian English, it is generally used to refer to any wild, untended or uncultivated land, including forest, scrub, or desert landscapes. Sometimes an urban environment can be called a jungle, as "concrete jungle".
The term may still be used in a technical context to describe the forest biome rainforest, a forest characterised by extensive biodiversity and densely tangled undergrowth including young trees, vines and lianas, and herbaceous plants. As a forest biome, "jungles" are present in both equatorial and tropical climatic zones, and are associated with preclimax stages of the rainforest. For this reason, jungle is to be distinguished from tropical rainforest in that the former is a profuse thicket of tropical shrubs, vines, and small trees growing in areas outside the light-blocking canopy of a tropical rainforest. Hence, 'jungle' is often found at the edges of climax rain-forests, where human activity may increase sunlight penetration.
Not all regions called "jungles" would qualify as "rain forests" because many would apply "jungle" to the forests of northern Thailand or southern Guangdong in China: but scientifically, these are "monsoon forests" or "tropical deciduous forests" but not "rain forests".

As a metaphor

Upton Sinclair gave the title The Jungle (1906) to his book about the life of workers at the Chicago Stockyards in order to imply that the workers were being mercilessly exploited and had no legal or other recourse.
In a highly controversial statement, Ehud Barak - former Israeli Prime Minster and currently Minster of Defence - compared Israel to "a villa in the jungle". Opponents from the Israeli Peace Now movement accused Barak of in effect comparing Israel's Arab neighbors, specifically the Palestinians, to "beasts or savages, with whom there is no need to communicate, approach, get to know and reconcile with"
The term "The Law of the Jungle" is also used in this kind of context, drawn from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book (1894) - though in the society of jungle animals portrayed in that book and obviously meant as a metaphor for human society, that phrase referred to an intricate code of laws which Kipling describes in detail, and not at all to a lawless chaos.
The "Cities in Flight Science" Fiction series by James Blish depicted spaceborne cities flying through the galaxy, which the writer compared to Hobos or Okies of space. The term "jungle", borrowed from the above Hobo term, is used for an area of space where such flying cities congregate.
jungle in Bosnian: Džungla
jungle in Catalan: Jungla
jungle in Danish: Jungle
jungle in German: Dschungel
jungle in Spanish: Jungla
jungle in Esperanto: Ĝangalo
jungle in French: Jungle
jungle in Korean: 밀림
jungle in Croatian: Džungla
jungle in Lithuanian: Džiunglės
jungle in Dutch: Oerwoud
jungle in Norwegian: Jungel
jungle in Polish: Dżungla
jungle in Portuguese: Selva
jungle in Russian: Джунгли
jungle in Simple English: Jungle
jungle in Swedish: Djungel
jungle in Ukrainian: Джунглі
jungle in Yiddish: דזשונגל
jungle in Chinese: 叢林

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Chinese puzzle, Gordian knot, Rube Goldberg contraption, afforestation, arboretum, boondocks, bush, bushveld, can of worms, chase, climax forest, cloud forest, complex, dendrology, forest, forest land, forest preserve, forestry, fringing forest, gallery forest, greenwood, hanger, hash, hugger-mugger, index forest, jumble, jungles, knot, labyrinth, litter, mash, maze, meander, mesh, mess, mishmash, morass, muddle, national forest, palmetto barrens, park, park forest, perplex, pine barrens, primeval forest, protection forest, rain forest, ravel, reforestation, rummage, scramble, scrub, scrubland, selection forest, shrubland, silviculture, skein, snafu, snake pit, snarl, sprout forest, stand of timber, state forest, tangle, tangled skein, timber, timberland, tree veld, virgin forest, web, webwork, wheels within wheels, wilderness, wildwood, wood, woodland, woods
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