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Jungle (Sanskrit: जंगल) refers to the most dense, more or less impenetrable regions within a tropical rainforest with an abundance of animal and plant life. The word jungle originates from the Sanskrit word jangala (जंगल) which referred to uncultivated land. Although the Sanskrit word refers to "dry land", it has been suggested that an Anglo-Indian interpretation led to its connotation as a dense "tangled thicket".[1] while others have argued that a cognate word in Urdu did refer to forests.[2] The term is prevalent in many languages of the Indian subcontinent, and Iranian plateau, particularly in Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Punjabi and Persian.[3]

The term jungle may still be read in technical contexts[citation needed] to describe the rainforest biome, a forest characterised by extensive biodiversity and densely tangled undergrowth including the young trees, vines and lianas, and herbaceous plants.



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About 6% of the Earth's land mass consists of the ecosystems that could qualify as jungle under the common usage of the word. 57% of all species live in jungle environments.[4] In common usage, forests of northern Thailand or southern Guangdong in China would qualify, but scientifically, these are "monsoon forests" or "tropical deciduous forests" but not "rain forests".[citation needed]

As a forest biome, jungles are present in both equatorial and tropical climatic zones, and are associated with preclimax stages of the rainforest. In another technical context, jungle is distinguished from tropical rainforest in that the former is a profuse thicket of tropical shrubs, vines, and small trees growing in areas outside the light-blocking canopy of a tropical rainforest. Hence, jungles are often found at the edges of climax rain-forests, where human activity may increase sunlight penetration.[citation needed]

As metaphor

As a metaphor, jungle often refers to situations that are unruly or lawless, or where the only law is perceived to be "survival of the fittest". This reflects the view of "city people" that forests are such places. Upton Sinclair gave the title The Jungle (1906) to his famous book about the life of workers at the Chicago Stockyards portraying the workers as being mercilessly exploited with no legal or other lawful recourse.[5]

The term "The Law of the Jungle" is also used in a similar context, drawn from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book (1894) - though in the society of jungle animals portrayed in that book and obviously meant as a metaphor for human society, that phrase referred to an intricate code of laws which Kipling describes in detail, and not at all to a lawless chaos.


  1. ^ Francis Zimmermann (1999). The jungle and the aroma of meats: an ecological theme in Hindu medicine. Volume 4. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 8120816188. 
  2. ^ Dove, Michael R. (1992). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "The Dialectical History of "Jungle" in Pakistan: An Examination of the Relationship between Nature and Culture"]. Journal of Anthropological Research 48 (3): 231–253. 
  3. ^ Yule, Henry, Sir (1903). Hobson-Jobson: a glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive. New ed. edited by William Crooke, B.A.. J. Murray, London. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Miller, David Cameron (1988). Dark Eden: the swamp in nineteenth-century American culture. Volume 43 of Cambridge studies in American literature and culture Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521375533. 

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:




1776, via Hindustani जंगल / جنگل (jangal), from Sanskrit जङ्गल (jaṅgala), arid, sterile, desert).




jungle (plural jungles)

  1. A large, undeveloped, humid forest, especially in a tropical region, that is home to many wild plants and animals.
  2. (colloquial) A place where people behave ruthlessly, unconstrained by law or morality.
    It’s a jungle out there.
  3. A style of electronic music.

Derived terms


See also



From English jungle.



jungle f.

  1. jungle

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|A Jungle]] The jungle is a forest in a tropical place. In jungles, it rains a lot. Scientists think that more types of animals and plants live in the jungles than everywhere else. Jungles are hot most of the time (having high temperature). When many people talk about jungles, they may also mean rainforests.

Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 24, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Forest, which are similar to those in the above article.

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