jew·​el·​ry | \ ˈjü-əl-rē How to pronounce jewelry (audio) , ˈjül-rē, ˈju̇l-; nonstandard ˈjü-lə-rē\
variants: US jewelry or chiefly British

Definition of jewelry

: ornamental pieces (such as rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets) that are made of materials which may or may not be precious (such as gold, silver, glass, and plastic), are often set with genuine or imitation gems, and are worn for personal adornment a collection of valuable jewelry a jewelry store — see also costume jewelry

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Did You Know?

Objects designed for the adornment of the body are called jewelry. While modern jewelry is made of gold, silver, or platinum, often with precious or semiprecious stones, it evolved from shells, animal teeth, and other items used as body decoration in prehistoric times. Over the centuries it came to be a sign of social or religious rank, and in Renaissance Italy, jewelry-making reached the status of a fine art. By the 19th century, industrialization brought jewelry within the reach of the middle class. Firms opened by such jewelers as Carl Fabergé and Louis Comfort Tiffany achieved great success by making fine jewelry for the wealthy.

Examples of jewelry in a Sentence

a store that sells jewelry

Recent Examples on the Web

The brand which specializes in personalized fine jewelry designs was recommended to Meghan by her friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney who owns several Mini Mini pieces. Moniquejessen,, "All About Meghan Markle's Sentimental Jewelry Choice at U.S. Open Women's Finals Match," 8 Sep. 2019 To up the ante, enamel jewelry and belts, silky hair scarves, oversize chain-link necklaces, and structured handbags helped to compliment the looks. Ashley Rushford, Essence, "NYFW: Brandon Maxwell Spring/Summer 2020 Was A Supermodel Dance Party," 8 Sep. 2019 Think: sparkly metallics, waist bows that cascaded to the ground, rhinestone, splashes of colorful makeup on some of the models faces, and conceptual jewelry pieces. Teen Vogue, "Christopher John Rogers' NYFW Runway Debut Got a Standing Ovation," 8 Sep. 2019 Gorjana Gorjana, the jewelry brand founded by designer Gorjana Reidel and husband Jason Griffin Reidel, opened its newest store in early August. Los Angeles Times, "Target looks to win big with 300 limited-edition designer goods," 6 Sep. 2019 Fans will not be required to remove shoes, belts, watches or jewelry. Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle, "New security measures in place this season at TDECU Stadium," 5 Sep. 2019 The Arts by the Bay Gallery, 307 St. John St., 410-939-1818, 410-409-1336, will host a fall reception for its artists, Friday, Sept. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. Look for new artwork, pottery, jewelry and a new artist showcased. Ronald Browning,, "Havre de Grace: Children’s Art Festival at Tydings Park set for Saturday," 5 Sep. 2019 The marketplace will replicate a traditional bazaar with Greek imports, pottery, artwork, fine jewelry and other treasures. San Diego Union-Tribune, "It’s all Greek at Cardiff’s annual fete," 5 Sep. 2019 Investigators seized nine guns, about 20 kilograms of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, nearly half a million dollars in cash and jewelry and another half a million dollars worth of cars. Washington Post, "New federal ‘Strike Force’ will target Baltimore drug gangs," 5 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jewelry.' 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 jewelry

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jewelry

see jewel entry 1

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Learn More about jewelry

Statistics for jewelry

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jewelry

The first known use of jewelry was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for jewelry



English Language Learners Definition of jewelry

: decorative objects (such as rings, necklaces, and earrings) that people wear on their body


jew·​el·​ry | \ ˈjü-əl-rē How to pronounce jewelry (audio) \

Kids Definition of jewelry

: ornamental pieces (as rings or necklaces) worn on the body

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Comments on jewelry

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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