In Spanish, "la selva" means the jungle. Other area names in Spanish are playa (beach or vast lakebed), mesa (hilltop plateau), arroyo (streambed), río (river). I suspect in this Webster entry "jungle" is intended. But perhaps not.
Sil"vas (?) or Sel"vas (?), n. pl. [L. silva a forest, Sp. selva.]
Vast woodland plains of South America.
© Webster 1913.
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