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

In fact, Paltrow's jewelry was so costly that a few of the pieces from Harry Winston were delivered to set in armored trucks with bodyguards. Bryn Elise Sandberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Wealth, Privilege and Gwyneth Paltrow: How Ryan Murphy's First Netflix Show Takes Down Trump-Era Entitlement," 7 Aug. 2019 The model was also seen rocking the jewelry at Coachella in April. Helen Murphy,, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Snuggle Up in New Selfie: 'That's My Best Friend'," 1 Aug. 2019 In every logical way, that fistful of Forever 21 jewelry was basically worthless. Veronica Walsingham, Vox, "The best $42.92 I ever spent: a handful of junky Forever 21 jewelry," 23 July 2019 Local designer Chicago designer Kristopher Kites’ lucite jewelry was also a surprise hit, holding its own against other hometown heroes like Fat Tiger Workshop and its offshoot, Don’t Be Mad. Chris Lamorte,, "The best fashion at ComplexCon," 20 July 2019 Not according to Rickey Thompson, who's breaking down the most awe-inspiring jewelry in the royal family's possession. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rickey Thompson Spills the Tea on the Royal Jewels of Your Dreams," 11 July 2019 Ewen tells Price that similar cufflinks with the phrase have been found in England, but this is the first time the seditious jewelry has been found in North Carolina. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "‘Seditious’ Pressed Glass Jewel Found in 18th-Century North Carolina Tavern," 10 July 2019 The suspect then allegedly took the victim’s jewelry and forced her into a closet. Jason Green, The Mercury News, "San Jose: Man arrested in brutal robbery of elderly woman," 2 July 2019 Only great memories, and no need for anyone to return the jewelry. Scott Ostler,, "Kevin Durant moves on: The Warriors, NBA are better for it," 1 July 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

14 Aug 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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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 shake or wave menacingly

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