Definition of jungle in English:



  • 1An area of land overgrown with dense forest and tangled vegetation, typically in the tropics.

    ‘we set off into the jungle’
    [mass noun] ‘the lakes are hidden in dense jungle’
    • ‘This species, which lives in the wild in the jungles of Central Africa, is classified as endangered, under growing threat from the roaring trade in bush meat, coupled with the loss of their forest habitat.’
    • ‘Your guide will lead you through miles of old cane lands, tropical forests, and jungles rich with magnificent scenery.’
    • ‘These people live there, they understand the jungle of the Philippines, they know what to do.’
    • ‘He followed the clearing cautiously, staying in the dense jungle surrounding it.’
    • ‘Tourism here is still pretty much an adventure, with unspoiled beaches, coral-filled waters and dense tropical jungle inland.’
    • ‘By the late 1990s, about four-fifths of the population made their living doing subsistence agriculture in the jungles and highland forests.’
    • ‘They would travel from farm to farm, surviving for days in the jungle by eating crops and fishing in streams.’
    • ‘Not named were probably those animals which live exclusively in forest, jungles, mountains, wetlands, deserts, etc.’
    • ‘Reporters no longer need to lug around bulky suitcases to carry their laptops and heavy satellite discs in to transmit news stories from remote places, dense jungles or mountain tops.’
    • ‘The farmers keep busy in their vast fields, whose crops are of a healthy golden-brown, while the creatures in the wild hunt and play in the shade of the tropical forests and the damp jungles.’
    • ‘Dense jungle alternates with steamy rice paddies and, as pineapple groves give way to coconut plantations, working elephants come briefly into view.’
    • ‘He fell on top of a colossal butte overlooking a dense jungle.’
    • ‘The Yucatan peninsula is a fascinating area covered by dense jungle and swamps, criss-crossed with rivers and scattered with ruins from the Mayan civilisation.’
    • ‘Even so, every walk in a jungle where wild elephants, rhinos, buffaloes or tigers roam, is a tense experience, even if you do have an armed forest guard along with you.’
    • ‘Such terrain includes cities, jungles, and dense forests, but it also includes open terrain when it is mountainous or broken, affording the enemy numerous hiding places.’
    • ‘He had been traveling the dense jungles for what seemed weeks, months even.’
    • ‘Later series saw the women marched through hostile jungle to a second camp.’
    • ‘For generations its farmers relied on the surrounding jungle for wood, grazing, fruit, herbs and building materials.’
    • ‘Both Ecuador and Brazil have stepped up military operations in the dense Amazonian jungles where they share borders with Colombia.’
    • ‘We walked though the dense foliage of the jungle.’
    tropical forest
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A wild tangled mass of vegetation or other things.
      ‘the garden was a jungle of bluebells’
      • ‘It's a jungle of images of places found ‘above ground’ at those sites.’
      • ‘It had remained hidden all this time under a jungle of wires.’
      • ‘When he died, police officers had to cut their way through a jungle of junk, just to get his body out.’
      • ‘We sit there sometimes, but prefer the front, which is more like a jungle of plants where coffee refills are 10 minutes apart.’
      • ‘From a distance, the island looks like a jungle of dark weeds.’
      • ‘The tops of the washing machines are covered by a jungle of well-watered pot plants.’
      • ‘Surrounding him on all sides, was a jungle of cement and wires.’
      • ‘Often he would lie for hours, his elbows in the peaty soil, peering through a jungle of grass blades in search of those elusive musicians.’
      • ‘The shirt she wore looked so torn that he wondered if she had walked through a jungle of thorns before coming into the disco.’
      • ‘There was a jungle of ferns and bushes, blanketed with lichen.’
      • ‘My carpaccio was passable, but far too sparse and hidden beneath a jungle of foliage.’
      • ‘I was finally able to crawl under the tree, and I soon found myself among a jungle of branches and leaves.’
      • ‘A jungle of mechanical debris bridges the gap between the cavernous fore and aft holds.’
      • ‘She walked through bushes and reached a jungle of trees.’
      • ‘He says that the group had been working hard to improve the area around the sawmill dam by tackling the jungle of weeds, brambles and nettles that had grown up through years of neglect.’
      • ‘It's gutted, with big windows that aren't even boarded up, rickety balconies and a jungle of weeds out front.’
      • ‘Dad borrowed the lights from her and rented a jungle of extension cords.’
      • ‘But when I realised today that my weed jungle does not constitute a garden to potter in, I turfed them into the bin.’
      • ‘This will keep your garden from looking like a jungle of haphazardly placed plants.’
      • ‘‘We discovered all these terraces completely overgrown, under a jungle of vines and brambles,’ said Threipland.’
    2. 1.2A situation or place of bewildering complexity or brutal competitiveness.
      ‘it's a jungle out there’
      • ‘It's a jungle of three letter acronyms and petroleum by-products.’
      • ‘But the European airline industry remains an insane jungle of bizarre and complex rules.’
      • ‘Here's a roadmap through the jungle of competing claims.’
      • ‘We have managed to create a jungle of inefficiency, throwing money at administration rather than research.’
      • ‘Perhaps, our urban jungle is just as bewildering for the old man and his daughter.’
      • ‘You send your camp's story into a veritable jungle of competing messages that bombard every parent and every child with whom you correspond.’
      • ‘They can bring learning alive and help young people through jungles of confusion, over rivers of problems and up mountains of challenge.’
      • ‘I know it's shameless, but the publishing world is a competitive jungle and, hey, you have to grab what chances you can.’
      complexity, confusion, complication, mess, chaos
      View synonyms
  • 2[mass noun] A style of dance music incorporating elements of ragga, hip-hop, and hard core and consisting of very fast electronic drum tracks and slower synthesized bass lines, originating in Britain in the early 1990s.

    • ‘Furthermore, his contributions to electronica paved the way for genres such as acid house, deep house, jungle, and drum & bass.’
    • ‘It's got jungle on there, garage, rock, hip hop and my own little ideas.’
    • ‘On your old website, you mentioned that you both grew up listening to hip-hop, reggae and jungle.’
    • ‘‘He's been working on free jazz, hip hop, jungle and house,’ he says.’


  • the law of the jungle

    • The principle that those who are strong and apply ruthless self-interest will be most successful.

      ‘power politics reflected the law of the jungle’
      • ‘What is missing from the European mindset is the reality that outside Europe, there exists the law of the jungle.’
      • ‘Otherwise, we simply have the law of the jungle.’
      • ‘After all, they are the ones who have forgotten that we no longer live by the law of the jungle.’
      • ‘As described by one former CIA lawyer that is ‘the law of the jungle.’’
      • ‘His colleagues, who recounted the story, called his decision prudent in a city ruled by the law of the jungle for more than a year.’
      • ‘She'd taught him the law of the jungle, after all, and he didn't believe in double standards.’
      • ‘It's easy to write this off as the triumph of greed and the law of the jungle.’
      • ‘He viewed the world as one where the law of the jungle prevailed and the strong could kill the weak.’
      • ‘If we don't do this now, we'll allow the law of the jungle to pervade for the next million years.’
      • ‘In other words, a society must have a moral standard by which it is run, or else we enter into the law of the jungle.’
      the survival of the fittest, each man for himself, every man for himself, dog-eat-dog
      View synonyms


Late 18th century: via Hindi from Sanskrit jāṅgala rough and arid (terrain).