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[joo-uh l] /ˈdʒu əl/
a cut and polished precious stone; gem.
a fashioned ornament for personal adornment, especially of a precious metal set with gems.
a precious possession.
a person or thing that is treasured, esteemed, or indispensable.
a durable bearing used in fine timepieces and other delicate instruments, made of natural or synthetic precious stone or other very hard material.
an ornamental boss of glass, sometimes cut with facets, in stained-glass work.
something resembling a jewel in appearance, ornamental effect, or the like, as a star.
verb (used with object), jeweled, jeweling or (especially British) jewelled, jewelling.
to set or adorn with jewels.
Origin of jewel
1250-1300; Middle English jouel juel < Anglo-French jeul, Old French jouel, joel < Vulgar Latin *jocāle plaything, noun use of neuter of *jocālis (adj.) of play, equivalent to Latin joc(us) joke + -ālis -al1
Related forms
jewellike, adjective
unjeweled, adjective
unjewelled, adjective


[joo-uh l] /ˈdʒu əl/
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for jewels
  • Late that night he arrived, collected the jewels, jumped into a taxi.
  • Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts.
  • He put raiment on its limbs, and jewels on its fingers, and a necklace about its neck.
  • The pages dedicated to this royal meeting-place are brilliant with jewels and the precious metals.
  • He may give her all the jewels he can afford, he may give her a fur scarf, but not a fur coat.
  • Those are the crown jewels among conferences, for a reason.
  • There are, however, some real jewels mixed among them as well.
  • They are winged jewels, fluttering orbs of iridescent feathers.
  • She is alert to the calculation in a silk cloak, the spin in a street hung with tapestries and the collateral in jewels.
  • Putting the country's historic jewels on the block has proved uncontroversial so far, but could yet provoke a public row.
British Dictionary definitions for jewels


a precious or semiprecious stone; gem
a person or thing resembling a jewel in preciousness, brilliance, etc
a gemstone, often synthetically produced, used as a bearing in a watch
a piece of jewellery
an ornamental glass boss, sometimes faceted, used in stained glasswork
jewel in the crown, the most valuable, esteemed, or successful person or thing of a number: who will be the jewel in the crown of English soccer?
verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
(transitive) to fit or decorate with a jewel or jewels
Derived Forms
jewelled, (US) jeweled, adjective
jewel-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French jouel, perhaps from jeu game, from Latin jocus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jewels



late 13c., "article of value used for adornment," from Anglo-French juel, Old French jouel "ornament, jewel" (12c.), perhaps from Medieval Latin jocale, from Latin jocus "pastime, sport," in Vulgar Latin "that which causes joy" (see joke (n.)). Another theory traces it to Latin gaudium, also with a notion of "rejoice" (see joy).

Sense of "precious stone" developed early 14c. Meaning "beloved person, admired woman" is late 14c. Colloquial family jewels "testicles" is from 1920s, but jewel as "testicle" dates to late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jewels


Related Terms

family jewels

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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