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

One of the guests, a jewelry designer named Mitali Handa, posted a video and photo on her Instagram Story displaying the many luxurious goodies. Kim Quindlen, Teen Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas's Wedding Weekend Welcomed Guests With an Elaborate Gift," 30 Nov. 2018 Not familiar with jewelry designer Gavin Hazelwood? Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Australian Boy Who Gave Meghan Markle a Macaroni Necklace Is Now Selling His Pasta Jewelry for Charity," 27 Oct. 2018 But nothing has stuck with me as intensely or as deeply as an early scene of model/magazine editor/jewelry designer/bare sternum enthusiast Kelly Killoren Bensimon going for a run in front of a cab down the middle of Fifth Avenue. Alison Leiby, The Cut, "I Think About This a Lot: Kelly Bensimon Running Behind a Cab," 9 July 2018 Actor Rob Lowe and wife Sheryl, a jewelry designer, are preparing for the next chapter in their empty-nest lives. Neal J. Leitereg,, "'West Wing' star Rob Lowe seeks $47 million for empty nest in Montecito," 30 June 2018 August was a fervent participant in the auction, gleefully bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars on items like a trip to Australia and a session with a jewelry designer. New York Times, "Growing Up Getty," 23 June 2018 Recently, Jones partnered with her friend and jewelry designer Christine Vasan on a collection of engagement and wedding rings called C&S., "The Black Woman Bringing Luxury To New York’s Diamond District," 25 May 2018 Of course, Chanel high jewelry collections have embraced the camellia from the outset. Vogue, "Chanel’s New High Jewelry Collection Celebrates the Camellia—Coco’s Signature Fleur," 17 Jan. 2019 Of course, Meghan isn't the only royal who wears pieces from Diana's jewelry collection. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wore Princess Diana's Bracelet to Tonight's Charity Cirque du Soleil Performance," 16 Jan. 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

13 Feb 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 \

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 deny responsibility for

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