Definition of jubilee in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjo͞obəˌlē/
Pronunciation: /ˌjo͞obəˈlē/


1A special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating twenty-five or fifty years of a reign or activity: [as modifier]: jubilee celebrations
More example sentences
  • A Department of Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman said the Queen had expressed the wish that taxpayers' money should not be used to celebrate her jubilee.
  • To celebrate the jubilee the County Carlow Association London has decided to record the history of their association.
  • If you have nothing planned to celebrate the jubilee try to go along for a great day out.
anniversary, commemoration;
celebration, festival, jamboree;
festivities, revelry
1.1 Judaism (In Jewish history) a year of emancipation and restoration, celebrated every fifty years.
1.2 (in full Jubilee Year) A period of remission from the penal consequences of sin, granted by the Roman Catholic Church under certain conditions for a year, usually at intervals of twenty-five years.
Example sentences
  • We learn that the Society of Jesus was missing from the 1775 jubilee because the Jesuit general was in prison in the Castel Sant'Angelo while the order underwent a process of suppression.
  • Bocelli was the official voice of the church's jubilee in the year 2000 and knew the pope for a long time.
  • Business increased by 21 per cent last year, with 25,000 making the trip during the Catholic Church's jubilee year.


(Of desserts) flambé: cherries jubilee


Late Middle English: from Old French jubile, from late Latin jubilaeus (annus) '(year) of jubilee', based on Hebrew yōḇēl, originally 'ram's-horn trumpet', with which the jubilee year was proclaimed.

  • Jubilee comes from a shortening of Latin jubilaeus annus, meaning ‘year of jubilee’, an expression based on yōb̄ēl the Hebrew name for a special year, celebrated in Jewish history every 50 years, when slaves were freed and the fields were not cultivated. The original sense of the Hebrew word was ‘ram's-horn trumpet’, with which the jubilee year was proclaimed. So in its strictest sense a jubilee is a 50th anniversary, although we celebrate silver jubilees (25 years) or diamond jubilees (60 years), with the original jubilee described as a golden jubilee. The Latin form of the Hebrew word, with a ‘u’ rather than an ‘o’ as the second letter, shows that the word was associated in people's minds with the Latin jubilare ‘shout for joy’ which is the source of English words such as jubilant (mid 17th century), and jubilation (Late Middle English).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ju·bi·lee

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