jew·el·ry | \ˈjü-əl-rē, ˈjül-rē, ˈju̇l-; nonstandard ˈjü-lə-rē\

Definition of jewelry 

: jewels especially : objects of precious metal often set with gems and worn for personal adornment

Keep scrolling for more

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

Delicia Cordon accused McCoy of sending people to her Georgia home to beat her up and steal jewelry that the 30-year-old had initially given her. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "LeSean 'Shady' McCoy's reported attorney has history of high-profile cases," 12 July 2018 Jettie Winslow, 31, is accused of stealing jewelry and $140 in cash from the residents soon after beginning her employment the Heritage Assisted Living Center, at 3585 S. 147th St., New Berlin. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Woman accused from stealing from assisted living facility residents," 3 July 2018 Van Hook then stole jewelry, including a gold chain that Self had worn to the bar. Jessie Balmert,, "No clemency for killer who picked up victim at Cincinnati bar, Gov. John Kasich says," 29 June 2018 She's also accused of stealing jewelry from the home, according to authorities. Michelle Hunter,, "Metairie caretaker stole jewelry, checks from patient's home: JPSO," 23 Apr. 2018 Rockport police are asking the public to help identify a woman captured on video stealing jewelry from a local store Saturday morning. Lucas Phillips,, "Rockport police looking to identify alleged jewelry thief," 22 Apr. 2018 Since then, the story of how exactly that gorgeous piece of jewelry made its way to Hailey's left hand has largely been a mystery. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber Picked Hailey Baldwin's Engagement Ring After Seeing Her Face Inside the Diamond," 13 July 2018 Milton Police Department confirmed that a home invasion was reported on July 10 and that one victim had been physically assaulted by a lone intruder who demanded specific items of jewelry. NBC News, "NFL player LeSean McCoy's estranged ex-girlfriend attacked during home invasion," 11 July 2018 According to the police department, the assailant demanded specific items of jewelry that had been given to Cordon by McCoy. Michael Mccann,, "Potential Legal Ramifications of the Disturbing Accusations Against LeSean McCoy," 11 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of jewelry

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jewelry

see jewel entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jewelry

Statistics for jewelry

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jewelry

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of jewelry

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on jewelry

Spanish Central: Translation of jewelry

Nglish: Translation of jewelry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jewelry for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about jewelry

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!