noun, often attributive
jun·​gle | \ˈjəŋ-gəl \

Definition of jungle 

1a : an impenetrable thicket or tangled mass of tropical vegetation

b : a tract overgrown with thickets or masses of vegetation

2a(1) : a confused or disordered mass of objects : jumble

(2) : something that baffles or frustrates by its tangled or complex character : maze the jungle of housing laws— Bernard Taper

b : a place of ruthless struggle for survival the city is a jungle where no one is safe after dark— Stuart Chase

3 : electronic dance music that combines elements of techno, reggae, and hip-hop and is marked especially by an extremely fast beat

4 : a hobo camp

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Other Words from jungle

junglelike \ˈjəŋ-​gə(l)-​ˌlīk \ adjective
jungly \ˈjəŋ-​g(ə-​)lē \ adjective

Examples of jungle in a Sentence

life in the corporate jungle It's hard to succeed in the business world. It's a jungle out there. a jungle of environmental laws
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Recent Examples on the Web

Mississippi uses what’s known as a jungle primary: Every candidate from both parties runs in the first race on Election Day in November. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy advance to Mississippi Senate runoff election," 7 Nov. 2018 Their natural habitats have been mostly destroyed; some captive elephants carry diseases that could harm wild populations; and besides, not all elephants get along—even in the jungle. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Is It Ever Okay to Ride Elephants While on Vacation? It’s Complicated...," 18 Oct. 2018 The enormous city-state of Tikal, whose towering temples still stand in the jungle, battled for centuries for dominance of the Maya world with the Kaanul dynasty. Fox News, "Experts: Mayan altar hints at ancient intrigue," 14 Sep. 2018 Gift this to a friend who is always planning their next jungle getaway, or to the one who’s in desperate need of better, wilder vibes. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "11 Colorful Home Gift Ideas for the Design Lover Who Has Everything," 16 Nov. 2018 The best pop music always returns to roots that may be hard to locate in today’s media jungle. David Kirby, WSJ, "What to Give: Books on Music," 15 Nov. 2018 The automated calls are narrated by someone pretending to be Gillum and using an exaggerated minstrel dialect with jungle noises in the background. Dylan Scott, Vox, "How racist robocalls and an FBI inquiry are shaking up the Florida governor’s race," 7 Nov. 2018 In Florida, robo-calls mimicked Gillum as jungle sounds and chimpanzee noises were heard in the background. Isaac Stanley-becker, The Seattle Times, "Republicans keep control of the Senate; Democrats claim House majority," 7 Nov. 2018 Bolivia and Peru Marisol MosqueraAracariShe taps insiders like museum curators, chefs (like Pedro Miguel Schiaffino of Lima’s Malabar), and even jungle-survival experts for her trips. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jungle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of jungle

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for jungle

Hindi jaṅgal & Urdu jangal forest, from Sanskrit jaṅgala desert region

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Statistics for jungle

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jungle

The first known use of jungle was in 1776

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More Definitions for jungle


jun·​gle | \ˈjəŋ-gəl \

Kids Definition of jungle

1 : a thick or tangled growth of tropical plants The explorers hacked at the jungle to clear a path.

2 : a large area of land usually in a tropical region covered with a thick tangled growth of plants

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More from Merriam-Webster on jungle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jungle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jungle

Spanish Central: Translation of jungle

Nglish: Translation of jungle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jungle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on jungle

What made you want to look up jungle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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