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[juhng-guh l] /ˈdʒʌŋ gəl/
a wild land overgrown with dense vegetation, often nearly impenetrable, especially tropical vegetation or a tropical rain forest.
a tract of such land.
a wilderness of dense overgrowth; a piece of swampy, thickset forestland.
any confused mass or agglomeration of objects; jumble:
a jungle of wrecked automobiles.
something that baffles or perplexes; maze:
a jungle of legal double-talk.
a scene of violence and struggle for survival:
The neglected prison was a jungle for its inmates.
a place or situation of ruthless competition:
the advertising jungle.
Slang. a hobo camp.
Origin of jungle
1770-80; < Hindi jaṅgal < Pali, Prakrit jaṅgala rough, waterless place
Related forms
jungled, adjective
underjungle, noun

Jungle, The

a novel (1906) by Upton Sinclair. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jungle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Number One has escaped into the jungle, Professor," he said.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • The day was sultry, and the heat, even in the dense shade of the jungle, oppressive.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • And you have watched over me alone in the jungle for two days?

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • "I'd like to know how I'm going to get back through this jungle after dark," Charlie said.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • There was a thicket of holly and underwood, as dense as a jungle, close about the door.

    The Room in the Dragon Volant J. Sheridan LeFanu
British Dictionary definitions for jungle


an equatorial forest area with luxuriant vegetation, often almost impenetrable
any dense or tangled thicket or growth
a place of intense competition or ruthless struggle for survival: the concrete jungle
a type of fast electronic dance music, originating in the early 1990s, which combines elements of techno and ragga
(US, slang) (esp in the Depression) a gathering place for the unemployed, etc
Derived Forms
jungly, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Hindi jangal, from Sanskrit jāngala wilderness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jungle

1776, from Hindi jangal "desert, forest, wasteland, uncultivated ground," from Sanskrit jangala-s "arid, sparsely grown with trees," of unknown origin. Specific sense of "land overgrown by vegetation in a wild, tangled mass" is first recorded 1849; meaning "place notoriously lawless and violent" is first recorded 1906, from Upton Sinclair's novel (cf. asphalt jungle, 1949, William R. Burnett's novel title, made into a film 1950 by John Huston; blackboard jungle, 1954, Evan Hunter's novel title, movie in 1955). Jungle gym was a trademark name, 1923, by Junglegym Inc., Chicago, U.S. Jungle bunny, derogatory for "black person," attested from 1966.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jungle



  1. A camp or regular stopping place near the railroad on the outskirts of a town: always leaves the jungle like he found it (1914+ Hoboes)
  2. Any place of notable violence, lawlessness, etc: The neighborhood's becoming a jungle (1906+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with jungle


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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