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

Lang, who through representatives declined to comment for this article, apparently envisioned the revival as a cross-generational jubilee: screen-addled millennials and nostalgia-prone Baby Boomers united in song. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, "Woodstock 50: How the golden anniversary festival went off track," 20 July 2019 The festival is one of many events hosted by the mission in recognition of its jubilee. Carolina Gusman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Festival of the Bells celebrates 250th jubilee of San Diego’s first mission," 11 July 2019 This golden jubilee will be a historic occasion celebrated by a variety of exhibitions and festivals, while the colorful Mauritius flag is displayed in shops, homes, schools and government buildings all over the island. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "30 Places to Travel This Spring," 12 Feb. 2018 One of the most visited historic landmarks in San Diego — more than 50,000 visitors yearly — the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, organizers estimate, will attract an attendance of more than 1,000 people at the two-day jubilee. San Diego Union-Tribune, "9 things to do in San Diego this weekend: Pride, ‘Miss Saigon,’ Over The Line Tournament," 12 July 2019 The annual jubilee, which takes place on Saturday June 8, marks the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Why Prince Philip Isn't at Trooping the Colour 2019," 8 June 2019 The merchant has served each monarch since Queen Victoria which has translated into Poole’s livery and other garments being worn at every coronation, jubilee and royal wedding since the merchant was issued the first warrant in 1869. Amy Tara Koch, New York Times, "A Road Map to Shopping Like a Royal in London," 9 May 2018 The Old Testament has a passage about the year of jubilee — every 50 years, debts are to be forgiven. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Free rent in Seattle, no catch: Landlords’ faith inspired a gift for tenants," 26 Oct. 2018 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

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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Last Updated

28 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for jubilee

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 How to pronounce jubilee (audio) , ˌjü-bə-ˈlē\

Kids Definition of jubilee

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on jubilee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jubilee

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jubilee

Spanish Central: Translation of jubilee

Nglish: Translation of jubilee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jubilee for Arabic Speakers

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).


ancient or antiquated

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