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

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 Thank you for being a friend — and thank you in advance for wearing your wigs, shoulder pads, and bulky jewelry. Ebony Williams, ajc, 11 May 2022 This bib, on or off its famed owner, is an icon of modern jewelry. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, 11 May 2022 Former engineer Trisha Okubo founded Maison Miru, and all of the brand's jewelry is designed for style AND function. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 11 May 2022 Man Ray created an entire capsule collection (about a dozen pieces) of jewelry based upon earlier sculptural projects or artistic ventures of his. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 10 May 2022 June: Pearl Delicate pearls have been a favorite jewelry choice through the centuries. Vogue, 10 May 2022 Hsu will appear as Shiji Niangniang, the Goddess of Stones, who works in a modern day jewelry shop along with her magical dog. Joe Otterson, Variety, 10 May 2022 Chinese-American designer Sonia Hou started her business in an effort to make affordable yet high-quality jewelry that didn't tarnish, flake, or irritate her skin. Jennifer Chan,, 8 May 2022 The latest ex-Brewer seeking some jewelry with the Braves is Manny Piña, who is currently on the IL with a wrist injury suffered in spring training. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of jewelry

circa 1624, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jewelry

see jewel entry 1

Buying Guide

Make your own jewelry for gifts or for yourself with kits chosen by our Reviews team.

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Time Traveler for jewelry

Time Traveler

The first known use of jewelry was circa 1624

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Dictionary Entries Near jewelry



jewel tone

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Statistics for jewelry

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Jewelry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for jewelry


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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