ju·​bi·​lee | \ ˈjü-bə-(ˌ)lē How to pronounce jubilee (audio) , ˌjü-bə-ˈlē \
plural jubilees

Definition of jubilee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a special anniversary especially : a 50th anniversary
b : a celebration of such an anniversary
2a : jubilation
b : a season of celebration
3 often Jubilee : a year of emancipation and restoration provided by ancient Hebrew law to be kept every 50 years by the emancipation of enslaved Hebrews, restoration of alienated lands to their former owners, and omission of all cultivation of the land
4a : a period of time proclaimed by the Roman Catholic pope ordinarily every 25 years as a time of special solemnity
b : a special plenary indulgence granted during a year of jubilee to Roman Catholics who perform certain specified works of repentance and piety
5 : a religious song of African Americans usually referring to a time of future happiness


adjective, often capitalized

Definition of jubilee (Entry 2 of 2)

: flambé cherries jubilee

Did you know?

According to Leviticus, every 50th year was to be a time when Hebrew slaves were set free, lands were given back to their former owners, and the fields were not harvested. This year of liberty was announced when a ram's horn was blown. In Hebrew, that ceremonial horn was called a yōbhēl, and the celebratory year took its name from that of the horn. As the Bible was translated into other languages, the concept of the yōbhēl spread around the world, as did its name (albeit with spelling modifications). In Latin, yōbhēl was transcribed as jubilaeus (influenced by Latin jubilare, meaning "to let out joyful shouts"). French-speakers adopted the word as jubilé, and English-speakers created jubilee from the French and Latin forms.

Examples of jubilee in a Sentence

Noun the town is planning a year-long jubilee in celebration of its founding 200 years ago
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nigeria and China mark their golden jubilee of official relations in 2021, having established diplomatic ties in 1971. Allwell Okpi, Quartz, 11 Apr. 2021 That’s why this weekend, the makeup leader is teaming up with Patty Delgado, founder and designer of Hija de Tu Madre and Julissa Prado, CEO and founder of Rizos Curls, for a virtual jubilee titled Jefacon. Blake Newby, Essence, 4 Dec. 2020 But after that, all winter, mealtimes were a jubilee of elk. Susan Casey, Field & Stream, 6 Dec. 2020 The big anniversary -- the golden jubilee of the only unsolved skyjacking in U.S. history -- is still a year away, but Eric Ulis is determined to be ready. oregonlive, 17 Sep. 2020 Anniversary jubilee: First Baptist Church of Strongsville will celebrate its 50th Anniversary Jubilee Sun. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 9 July 2020 With the cancellation of the annual Fourth of July jubilee that normally draws thousands, Pickrell Park in Schertz will be lifeless today. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, 3 July 2020 In 1977, Britons thronged London to celebrate the silver jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, who was marking the 25th year of her reign. BostonGlobe.com, 7 June 2020 This year was supposed to be a victory lap for Dave Grohl: a months-long, meticulously plotted jubilee to mark 25 years of his band Foo Fighters with a new album, a globe-trotting redux of their 1995 tour, and much more. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 13 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jubilee.' 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 jubilee


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jubilee


Middle English, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French jubilé, from Late Latin jubilaeus, modification of Late Greek iōbēlaios, from Hebrew yōbhēl ram's horn, jubilee

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

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Last Updated

14 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jubilee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jubilee. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for jubilee



English Language Learners Definition of jubilee

: a special anniversary also : a celebration at the time of such an anniversary


ju·​bi·​lee | \ ˈjü-bə-ˌlē How to pronounce jubilee (audio) , ˌjü-bə-ˈlē \

Kids Definition of jubilee

1 : a 50th anniversary
2 : a time of celebration

More from Merriam-Webster on jubilee

Nglish: Translation of jubilee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jubilee for Arabic Speakers


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