Definition of jewel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjo͞oəl/


1A precious stone, typically a single crystal or a piece of a hard lustrous or translucent mineral, cut into shape with flat facets or smoothed and polished for use as an ornament.
Example sentences
  • Choose from two sparkling, glittering nail stickers sprinkled with rhinestones and jewels.
  • There are photo frames and little jewel boxes in the shape of dolls and animals, all with sparkling jewels inset.
  • Her necklace was seen more visibly with the blue sapphire jewel glowing slightly.
gem, gemstone, (precious) stone, brilliant;
informal sparkler, rock
archaic bijou
1.1 (usually jewels) An ornament or piece of jewelry containing precious stones.
Example sentences
  • The fecund decorations are transplanted in the exquisitely designed gold-plated jewels embellished with precious stones.
  • There was a separate stall for jewels embellished with precious stones like pearls, ruby and emerald.
  • Your gowns and jewels and trinkets, all of those were very pricey.
1.2A hard precious stone used as a bearing in a watch, compass, or other device.
Example sentences
  • I twirled it between my index finger and thumb, watching the jewel give off bright rays when it passed a specific angle.
  • Her jewel was resonating a little, then returned to normal.
  • Fine blades of Chinese cabbage came with pumpkin seeds, little jewels of red pepper and just a breath of sweetness.
1.3A very pleasing or valued person or thing; a very fine example: she was a jewel of a nurse
More example sentences
  • Draped with some of the world's finest footballing jewels and still Italy have failed to truly sparkle.
  • Peterhof stands out like a jewel among the bland communist structures found in greater St. Petersburg.
  • His squad boasts but one jewel, the 23-year-old Phil Jagielka, but Warnock can look forward to a new contract and more cash should United advance.
finest example/specimen, showpiece, pride (and joy), cream, crème de la crème, jewel in the crown, masterpiece, nonpareil, glory, prize, boast, pick, ne plus ultra


the jewel in the (or one's) crown

The most valuable or successful part of something: science is the brightest jewel in the crown of our civilization
More example sentences
  • This has been the dilemma facing the FA as they once again tinkered with the jewel in their crown, the FA Cup this week.
  • Monopoly, however, is the jewel in their crown, one which they guard jealously.
  • Our reservoirs and surrounding countryside are the jewel in our crown when we play host to visitors and tourists.


Middle English: from Old French joel, from jeu 'game, play', from Latin jocus 'jest'.

  • Originally jewel meant a decorative piece worn for personal adornment, but later it came to specify an ornament containing a precious stone, or the stone itself. The origin suggests that adornment was linked with entertainment, as the word comes from French jeu ‘game, play’, and perhaps ultimately from Latin jocus ‘jest’. See also joke, juggle. The jewel in the crown is the most valuable or successful part of something. It was popularized as the title of a 1966 novel by Paul Scott, and of a 1980s BBC TV series that was based on this and other novels by Scott. The phrase was used in the early 1900s as a name for the colonies of the British Empire.

Words that rhyme with jewel

accrual, construal, crewel, cruel, dual, duel, fuel, gruel, newel, renewal, reviewal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: jew·el

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