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

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 Put away jewelry and other valuables and warn the cleaning business about pets living in your home. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: BBB offers tips for hiring house-cleaning service," 14 Mar. 2020 According to jewelry and hair accessory designer Lele Sadoughi, the black velour band is from the brand's permanent collection. Megan Decker,, "Kate Middleton Just Debuted The Freshest Pre-Spring Haircut," 5 Mar. 2020 Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann Baselworld, the world’s largest watch and jewelry show, has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 coronavirus. Jenni Avins, Quartz, "Global luxury events are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus," 29 Feb. 2020 The arrest citation states the bag had jewelry and other items worth more than $12,000. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Woman stole luggage with items worth more than $20,000 from Louisville airport, police say," 24 Feb. 2020 Three suspects entered the store at 12:07 p.m. and pushed a cart around the store while stuffing jewelry and Swarovski crystals into their pockets, according to police. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Van stolen from Westlake business: Westlake Police Blotter," 22 Feb. 2020 The building houses various art projects for visitors to create, including ceramics, mosaics, fused glass, jewelry and board signs. Daniel Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Late winter is peak season to visit Door County for smaller crowds and shorter waits," 21 Feb. 2020 Garcia's girlfriend, Maybel Sanchez, is accused of running one of his marijuana grow houses and receiving stolen jewelry and his mother, Mirta Lora, is accused of laundering money for the crime ring. Julia Jacobo And, ABC News, "Miami crime ring suspects stalked rich victims to steal millions in jewelry, authorities say," 18 Feb. 2020 The Chicago rapper was all smiles this week showing off his holographic Givenchy kicks to go along with his icy jewelry and shiny grills. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Laced Up: This Week's Coolest Sneaker Sightings With Bhad Bhabie, Russ & More," 14 Feb. 2020

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

Time Traveler for jewelry

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for jewelry

Last Updated

26 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Jewelry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!