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 To complete the look, J-Hope adorned his hands with two colorful rings from South Korean jewelry designer hurjaboy. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "BTS’s J-Hope Shared His “Outro: Ego” Manicure With ARMYs on Twitter," 3 Feb. 2020 Among the seizures were jewelry, hats, phones, fake jerseys and thousands of other items. Nick Givas, Fox News, "$123M in fake Super Bowl merch seized by CBP, DHS, ICE ahead of big game," 2 Feb. 2020 Completing the look was a grouping of eight diamond bracelets by Beverly Hills jewelry designer Dena Kemp, valued at roughly $500,000. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Ariana Grande, Lizzo, Priyanka Chopra, Heidi Klum Dazzle in $16M of Lorraine Schwartz Jewels at Grammys," 27 Jan. 2020 Cleverly, the curators made 3-D models of her jewelry displayed in a case. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "In Montreal, Egyptian Mummies, in 3-D, Have Secrets to Share," 18 Jan. 2020 The high-end Swiss watchmaker reimagined this iconic timepiece in collaboration with jewelry designer Carolina Bucci, resulting in a new shimmering version in Frosted Gold. Hannah Miller, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Perfect Night Out Starts With the Right Accessory," 19 Dec. 2019 Tiffany, known for its delicate jewelry, distinctive blue boxes and an Audrey Hepburn movie, says the deal will ensure its long-term sustainability. Rachel Lerman,, "Louis Vuitton owner buying Tiffany for $16.2 billion," 25 Nov. 2019 Diving into the importance of mentorship, Reebok will mentor the next generation with stylist Matthew Henson, artist and designer Gianni Lee, jewelry designer Martine Ali, photographer Quil Lemons and hairstylist Guingui. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Allen Iverson Celebrates His 'Question Mid Double Cross' Shoe Release With A Creative Workshop," 25 Oct. 2019 Handmade in her studio, her jewelry has been exhibited in art galleries and is available in shops in the U.S. and abroad. Deborah Hornblow,, "12 holiday gift ideas: This year, give local," 23 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for jewelry

Time Traveler

The first known use of jewelry was in the 14th century

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Statistics for jewelry

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jewelry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for jewelry


How to pronounce jewelry (audio)

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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