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asphalt jungle

[ as-fawlt juhng-guhl ]
/ ˈæs fɔlt ˈdʒʌŋ gəl /
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noun

any large, crowded city or urban area regarded as a dangerous place where people are engaged in a struggle for survival: There was a wariness, an eternal vigilance about her, no doubt from having spent her first 20 years in an asphalt jungle.

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Origin of asphalt jungle

Apparently coined by George Ade in a fable published in 1917; popularized by a novel of the same title (1949) by W.R. Burnett (1899–1982), U.S. novelist and screenwriter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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