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 Each ticket holder will be entered into a raffle to win prizes including a jewelry item from Sissy's Log Cabin, dinner gift certificates to Red Oaks Steakhouse at Saracen Casino Resort and Pine Bluff Country Club. Arkansas Online, "Pine Bluff chamber pasta dinner now Feb. 25," 14 Feb. 2021 Using Hart's cards, authorities say, Syer instead bought nearly $1.2 million on fine art and jewelry. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Kevin Hart's personal shopper is from Oakland County, charged with stealing $1.2M," 12 Feb. 2021 Gorjana has gold layering necklaces, engravable gifts, intention bracelets, hoop earrings, coin necklaces, thin stacking rings and other jewelry designed with love in Laguna Beach, California. oregonlive, "Last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts that look well planned: Cooking classes? Flowers, chocolate, wine are ready for pick up or delivery," 11 Feb. 2021 Because of the methods developed by groups like Kamoka, and a rising consumer interest in where jewelry comes from, gemologist and pearl expert Laurent Cartier says sustainable pearl farms are no longer an outlier. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Mexico City cuts out plastic, and more," 11 Feb. 2021 But in many cases, only teeth remain, looking like they were strung into jewelry for the dead: Rows of teeth, with holes drilled into the roots, accompany human skeletons in sambaqui graves. Bridget Alex, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Did Ancient Indigenous Groups in Brazil Hunt Sharks?," 8 Feb. 2021 Costume jewelry sits on one of the tables, on top of a piece of velvet. Jhumpa Lahiri, The New Yorker, "Casting Shadows," 8 Feb. 2021 She’s leaving the company as senior vice president and general merchandise manager of handbags, ladies shoes, beauty and jewelry. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "A couple key executive departures at Neiman Marcus," 5 Feb. 2021 In lieu of a catwalk show, Pyo is returning to the format of her SS18 collection, which saw her collaborate with a variety of women — mothers and jewelry designers, writers, and painters — to showcase the clothes. Georgia Murray,, "How Rejina Pyo Changed Things Up," 5 Feb. 2021

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

circa 1624, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jewelry

see jewel entry 1

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Learn More about jewelry

Time Traveler for jewelry

Time Traveler

The first known use of jewelry was circa 1624

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Statistics for jewelry

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jewelry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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

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