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

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 Several small pieces of jewelry were found on the floor. Steve Sadin,, 29 Nov. 2021 Everyone knows that a piece of jewelry says a thousand words, and the more radiant looking, the better. Fortune, 18 Nov. 2021 An assortment of affordable, unique, handmade items from artists and artisans from all over the state; with everything from watercolor and oil paintings to jewelry, pottery, fiber art pieces, and handmade books. The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Nov. 2021 The real Phyllis took not only a butt load of jewelry but also a bunch of important papers and even flew to Switzerland (!) and cleaned out an offshore bank account with over a million dollars in it. Erin Qualey, Vulture, 12 Nov. 2021 After the men were done with the moving job, the victim discovered that about $10,000 of jewelry was missing. Fox News, 10 Nov. 2021 To be fair to Kardashian, this was kind of a proportionate reaction to the jewelry in question. Iris Goldsztajn, Marie Claire, 3 Nov. 2021 Under the tutelage of trained Black female metal artists, students learn the art to create a variety of objects including but not limited to jewelry, small vessels, and utilitarian objects. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 14 Oct. 2021 Quince offers customers everything from men’s and women’s apparel and accessories to fine jewelry and home decor — providing sustainably-minded consumers a one-stop shop for easy online ordering. Olivia O'bryon, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of jewelry

circa 1624, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for jewelry

see jewel entry 1

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Time Traveler for jewelry

Time Traveler

The first known use of jewelry was circa 1624

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Dictionary Entries Near jewelry



jewel tone

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Statistics for jewelry

Last Updated

4 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jewelry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for jewelry



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


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