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
: a period of time proclaimed by the Roman Catholic pope ordinarily every 25 years as a time of special solemnity
: a special plenary indulgence granted during a year of jubilee to Roman Catholics who perform certain specified works of repentance and piety
: a religious song of African Americans usually referring to a time of future happiness
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.
the town is planning a year-long jubilee in celebration of its founding 200 years ago
Recent Examples on the Web
Often, jubilees follow an afternoon rain shower and an easterly or northeasterly wind.—David Rainer Alabama Department Of Conservation and Natural Resources, al, 10 Aug. 2023 He was invited to take part in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics and took part in events on the sidelines of Queen Elizabeth II’s jubilee and funeral.—Megan Specia, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Apr. 2023 Dining, of course, has been an integral part of cruising since at least the 1930s, an era when cruise lines were unwaveringly loyal to classic cuisine—the Queen Mary, for instance, served its first-class passengers a 10-course French dinner with cherries jubilee flambéed at the table.—Rick Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, 16 Dec. 2022 The jubilee celebrations also brought a visit from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who made their first appearance with the royal family in more than two years.—Kelsee Majette, The Week, 6 June 2022 Prince William and Kate are on a week-long tour in the region, visiting Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas for a series of engagements to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's platinum jubilee year, marking 70 years on the throne.—Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Max Foster, CNN, 23 Mar. 2022 Saturday’s felt like an extended jubilee months in the making.—Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 5 Mar. 2022 Crêpes Suzette calls for Grand Marnier to echo the orange flavor, cherries jubilee leans toward Kirsch, and anything with winter fruit would benefit from a splash of Calvados or pear brandy.—Kendra Vaculin, Bon Appétit, 25 Feb. 2022 The content will include the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations, soccer via the Women’s Euros and the World Cup, and the Commonwealth Games.—Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 17 Nov. 2021 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'jubilee.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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