ju·​bi·​lee | \ˈjü-bə-(ˌ)lē, ˌjü-bə-ˈlē\

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 capitalized : a year of emancipation and restoration provided by ancient Hebrew law to be kept every 50 years by the emancipation of Hebrew slaves, 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 black Americans usually referring to a time of future happiness


adjective, often capitalized

Definition of jubilee (Entry 2 of 2)

: flambé cherries jubilee

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Examples of jubilee in a Sentence


the town is planning a year-long jubilee in celebration of its founding 200 years ago

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ryan and about 50 other nuns and priests, sisters and brothers, celebrated their jubilees, or milestone anniversaries, of their religious careers, during a special Mass on Saturday at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Evergreen Park. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "A lifetime of devotion: Cardinal Cupich helps priests, nuns celebrate milestone anniversaries in Evergreen Park," 26 May 2018 Fundraising will continue with a jubilee being planned by Century Walk officials to be held in September in Central Park. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Laughing Lincoln statue would be Naperville Century Walk's birthday gift to Illinois," 24 Apr. 2018 Events frequently turn the walkable area into a jubilee, and entire days and evenings can be passed sampling craft cocktails, a bevy of microbrews and organic fare. Natasha Bourlin, SFChronicle.com, "Increasingly hip Midtown Reno has a glow that’s not from neon," 29 June 2018 And Sanford hosts a daylong jubilee with a kids area and live music and more fireworks over another lake (3 p.m., Fort Mellon Park, sanfordfl.gov). Trevor Fraser, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fireworks still a good reason to gather," 28 June 2018 The Crescent City already had Mardi Gras for parades, Bourbon Street for revelry, and a handful of go-to gay bars, so an LGBTQ-specific jubilee seemed sort of superfluous. Kelsy Chauvin, Condé Nast Traveler, "What NOLA's 'Gay Mardi Gras' Taught Me About My Parents—and Myself," 13 June 2018 Cranberries jubilee is cooked up in a 4-foot skillet and served over ice cream. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "6 food festivals that offer a glimpse of Wisconsin specialties and local culture," 6 June 2018 That incident in the restaurant, with the chafing dish of flaming cherries jubilee and the business writer from the Times? Ellis Weiner, The New Yorker, "We’re Sorry," 20 Sep. 2017 For the Fourth, the luxe, 100-year-old resort goes all out with a five-day jubilee with fireworks over the lake, free movies nightly, and classes. Stephanie Granada, Sunset, "10 July 4th Weekend Trips You Can’t Miss," 22 Jan. 2018

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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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, ˌjü-bə-ˈlē\

Kids Definition of jubilee

1 : a 50th anniversary

2 : a time of celebration

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Comments on jubilee

What made you want to look up jubilee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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