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[sel-vuh] /ˈsɛl və/
a tropical rain forest, as that in the Amazon basin of South America.
Origin of selva
Brazilian Portuguese
1840-50; < Brazilian Portuguese; Portuguese: forest < Latin silva Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for selva
Historical Examples
  • Was this what lay before the minister of God now in this selva oscura of life?

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • He approached selva to bid him good-night, his hand extended.

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
  • You asked my permission, to visit a certain selva and his wife.

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
  • The next day he asked me whether I had met selva at Subiaco, and had read his books.

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
  • Among other things, he has withdrawn the selva affair from the Congregation of the Index.

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
  • She embraced Maria and shook hands with selva, who presented di Leyni.

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
  • selva paused; he had the letter in his pocket, and began searching for it.

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
  • selva entered the vestibule, and reappeared a moment later with his wife.

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
  • Di Leyn knew of this desire, for selva had mentioned it to him.

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
  • What joy if the Pontiff should forbid the condemnation of selva!

    The Saint Antonio Fogazzaro
British Dictionary definitions for selva


dense equatorial forest, esp in the Amazon basin, characterized by tall broad-leaved evergreen trees, epiphytes, lianas, etc
a tract of such forest
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish and Portuguese, from Latin silva forest
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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