[joo-uh l]


verb (used with object), jew·eled, jew·el·ing or (especially British) jew·elled, jew·el·ling.

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 formsjew·el·like, adjectiveun·jew·eled, adjectiveun·jew·elled, adjective


[joo-uh l]


a female given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jewels

Contemporary Examples of jewels

Historical Examples of jewels

  • Then there would be jewels such as she had longed for, a portrait by Chartran, she thought.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • In all the stand up there, wit' their flounces and jewels, there isn't a lady like her.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Off he marched with the jewels, and that was the last that the pirate saw of his Indian treasure.

  • She was very beautifully attired, and jewels glistened from her hair and throat.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Perhaps long ago, one of these queens had kept her jewels in them.

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 numberwho will be the jewel in the crown of English soccer?

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled

(tr) to fit or decorate with a jewel or jewels
Derived Formsjewelled or US jeweled, adjectivejewel-like, adjective

Word Origin for jewel

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

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