: a special anniversary; also : a celebration at the time of such an anniversary
Full Definition of JUBILEE
often capitalized: a year of emancipation and restoration provided by ancient Hebrew law to be kept every 50 years by the emancipation of Hebrew slaves, restoration of alienated lands to their former owners, and omission of all cultivation of the land
a: a special anniversary; especially: a 50th anniversary
b: a celebration of such an anniversary
a: a period of time proclaimed by the Roman Catholic pope ordinarily every 25 years as a time of special solemnity
b: a special plenary indulgence granted during a year of jubilee to Roman Catholics who perform certain specified works of repentance and piety
In ancient Hebrew tradition every 50th year was a time of restoration, when slaves were freed and lands restored to their former owners. This year took its Hebrew name, yōbhēl, from the ram's horn trumpets sounded to proclaim its coming. When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek, yōbhēl was rendered as iōbēlaios. Under the influence of the Latin verb jubilare, “to let out joyful shouts,” the Greek word became jubilaeus in Latin, from which it came into English in the 1300s.