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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jewels
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But, Edgar, what do you think, she says my jewels will be a good wedding present for us!

    The Riddle of the Purple Emperor Mary E. Hanshew and Thomas W. Hanshew
  • We and you have neither money nor jewels, nor plate, that can tempt thieves!

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • On her departure she was visited by sundry inhabitants of Metz, who gave her jewels, recognising her to be the Maid of France.

  • Sylvia admired the workmanship and the jewels, and turned the brooch over.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • Every luxury was hers; the most beautiful clothes and jewels, and the most delicious and delicately cooked food.

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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