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

Kylie Jenner accessorized her take on the biker shorts trend with a very statement-making piece of jewelry: A diamond ring. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Accessorized Her Bike Shorts With a Diamond Ring on THAT Finger," 12 Nov. 2018 The roughly 230 objects on view are drawn almost exclusively from the museum’s holdings, which include some 8,000 pieces of jewelry. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Bling Through the Ages," 1 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, Gigi Hadid opened the show in a hoodie sweatshirt dress topped off with a gold puffer, over-the-knee boots, and an abundance of gold jewelry. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Naomi Campbell Epically Closed the Moschino x H&M Runway," 25 Oct. 2018 The piece of jewelry Kate wears was created for Queen Mary in 1914 by the House of Garrand from pearls and diamonds already owned by her family. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Stunning Lover's Knot Tiara Has a Fascinating Royal History," 23 Oct. 2018 All the fun pink hues helped create a sunset vibe and took the place of jewelry, says makeup artist Lisa Storey. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Tracee Ellis Ross Matched Her Lipstick to Her Fuchsia Dress for the Emmy Awards 2018," 17 Sep. 2018 This is not the only piece of jewelry Davidson has given his new fiancée recently. Eileen Reslen, Seventeen, "Ariana Grande Just Rocked Her Engagement Ring in a New Music Video," 19 July 2018 What about fine jewelry, men’s shoes, books, a painting, luggage for your next trip? Kathy Routliffe,, "Kenilworth Union Church rummage sale offers amazing maze of treasures," 13 July 2018 Most policies cap coverage at $1,000 to $2,500 on pricey collectibles, jewelry, antiques and firearms. Ron Hurtibise,, "Do you have enough homeowner insurance? Here's how to find out," 13 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

20 Nov 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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!