Definition of selva in English:



  • A tract of land covered by dense equatorial forest, especially in the Amazon basin.

    • ‘This picturesque land is divided into three main geographic regions: the costa, along the South Pacific; the sierra, or highlands of the Andes mountains; and the selva, or jungle, in the east.’
    • ‘Some were transients, headed north after spending the winter in the monte and selva of Mexico, Central America and South America.’
    • ‘Dictionaries suggest selva, ‘forest,’ or deserto, ‘desert,’ but both fall short of the mark.’
    • ‘It varies from the Amazon selva to the Andes high peaks.’


Mid 19th century: from Spanish or Portuguese, from Latin silva ‘wood’.