from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A precious stone; a gem.
  • n. A small natural or artificial gem used as a bearing in a watch.
  • n. A costly ornament of precious metal or gems.
  • n. One that is treasured or esteemed.
  • transitive v. To adorn with jewels.
  • transitive v. To fit with jewels.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A precious or semi-precious stone; gem, gemstone.
  • n. A valuable object used for personal ornamentation, especially one made of precious metals and stones; a piece of jewellery.
  • n. Anything considered precious or valuable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ornament of dress usually made of a precious metal, and having enamel or precious stones as a part of its design.
  • n. A precious stone; a gem.
  • n. An object regarded with special affection; a precious thing.
  • n. A bearing for a pivot a pivot in a watch, formed of a crystal or precious stone, as a ruby.
  • transitive v. To dress, adorn, deck, or supply with jewels, as a dress, a sword hilt, or a watch; to bespangle, as with jewels; to bejewel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A precious stone or gem; especially, a gem cut and shaped for ornament or use: as, the jewels of a crown.
  • n. An article of personal adornment, consisting of a gem or gems in a setting of precious metal; also, formerly, any piece of jewel-work, or a trinket or ornament worn on the person, as a ring, a bracelet, or a brooch.
  • n. An ornament of precious stones, or metal, enamel, etc., worn as a decoration, or as the badge of an honorary order: as, the jewel of the Garter.
  • n. A precious stone used in watchmaking, on account of its hardness and resistance to wear, as where a pivot turns in a socket.
  • n. An imitation, in glass or enamel, of areal jewel. See jeweled, 3.
  • n. In colored-glass windows, etc., a projecting boss of glass, sometimes cut with facets, introduced in the design to give variety and richness of effect.
  • n. Anything of great value or rare excellence; anything especially fine or dear: sometimes applied to persons as a term of high commendation or tender endearment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who is as brilliant and precious as a piece of jewelry
  • n. a precious or semiprecious stone incorporated into a piece of jewelry
  • v. adorn or decorate with precious stones


Middle English juel, from Anglo-Norman, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *iocāle, from neuter of *iocālis, of play, from Latin iocus, joke; see yek- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman juel, from Old French jouel (modern joyau), based ultimately on Latin iocus ("joke, jest"). (Wiktionary)



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