Word of the Day


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1. a thick tropical forest
2. a garden or other place that has a lot of plants in it growing in an uncontrolled way
3. a place or situation that is unpleasant because people are trying to achieve things for themselves and are not helping each other

Origin and usage

The word jungle comes from the Sanskrit ‘jangala-s’ meaning ‘sparsely grown, arid’. This Sanskrit word was the origin for the Hindi ‘jangal’ meaning ‘uncultivated ground’, which is likely how the English word came to hold its current meaning as an overgrown, dense forest.

In English, the word jungle first came into popular use around 1776.


Jungle refers to a thick, dense forest that is untended and overgrown. There are many jungles throughout the world, including the Amazon rainforest in South America, the jungles of Borneo in Maritime Southeast Asia, the jungles of India – which helped inspire Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale The Jungle Book – and the coastal jungles of West Africa.

The world’s jungles are home to some amazing animals and plants that cannot be found anywhere else.

Unusual jungle animals include:
• Blue Bird of Paradise, a brightly-feathered bird found in the jungles of Papua New Guinea
• Okapi, a relative of the giraffe that is striped like a zebra and native to the jungles of Northern Zaire
• 24-Hour Ant, with a stinging bite that causes intense pain for hours and lives in the jungles of Central and South America
• Mata Mata, a water-dwelling turtle with a flat head and horned snout that can be found in the jungles of the Amazon rainforest

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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