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

  • n. A specially celebrated anniversary, especially a 50th anniversary.
  • n. The celebration of such an anniversary.
  • n. A season or an occasion of joyful celebration.
  • n. Jubilation; rejoicing.
  • n. Bible In the Hebrew Scriptures, a year of rest to be observed by the Israelites every 50th year, during which slaves were to be set free, alienated property restored to the former owners, and the lands left untilled.
  • n. Roman Catholic Church A year during which plenary indulgence may be obtained by the performance of certain pious acts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Every fiftieth year, being the year following the completion of each seventh sabbath of years, at which time all the slaves of Hebrew blood were liberated, and all lands which had been alienated during the whole period reverted to their former owners.
  • n. The joyful commemoration held on the fiftieth anniversary of any event
  • n. A church solemnity or ceremony celebrated at Rome, at stated intervals, originally of one hundred years, but latterly of twenty-five; a plenary and extraordinary indulgence granted by the sovereign pontiff to the universal church. One invariable condition of granting this indulgence is the confession of sins and receiving of the eucharist.
  • n. A season of general joy.
  • n. A state of joy or exultation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Among the ancient Jews, according to the law in Lev. xxv., a semi-centennial epoch of general restoration and emancipation, when liberty was to be proclaimed throughout the land with the blowing of trumpets.
  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church, a year in which remission from the penal consequences of sin is granted by the church to those who repent and perform certain acts.
  • n. Now, in general, the completion of the fiftieth year of any continuous course of existence or activity, or a celebration of the completion of fifty years, whether on the anniversary day or in a succession of festivities or observances: as, the jubilee of a town or of a, pastorate; the jubilee of Queen Victoria.
  • n. Hence Any exceptional season or course of rejoicing or festivity; a special occasion or manifestation of joyousness.
  • n. The fiftieth year; the year following any period of forty-nine (or sometimes fifty) years.
  • n. A period of fifty years; a half-century.

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

  • n. a special anniversary (or the celebration of it)


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

Middle English jubile, from Old French, from Late Latin iūbilaeus, the Jewish year of jubilee, alteration (influenced by iūbilāre, to raise a shout of joy) of Greek iōbēlaios, from iōbēlos, from Hebrew yôbēl, ram, ram's horn, jubilee; see ybl in Semitic roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French jubile (French jubilé), from Late Latin jūbilaeus. Beyond this point, the etymology is disputed. Traditionally this derives from Ancient Greek ἰωβηλαῖος ("of a jubilee"), from ἰώβηλος ("jubilee"), from Hebrew יובל (yobēl/yovēl, "ram, ram's horn; jubilee"), presumably because a ram’s horn trumpet was originally used to proclaim the event. More recent scholarship disputes this – while the religious sense is certainly from Hebrew, the term itself is proposed to have Proto-Indo-European roots. Specifically, this interpretation proposed that Latin jūbilaeus is from iūbilō ("I shout for joy"), which predates the Vulgate, and that this verb, as well as Middle Irish ilach ("victory cry"), English yowl, and Ancient Greek iuzo ("shout"), derived from Proto-Indo-European *yu-, *shout for joy. In this interpretation, the Hebrew term is instead a borrowing from an Indo-European language, hence ultimately of Proto-Indo-European origin.


  • The term jubilee year (Vulg. annus Jubilei, or Jubileus) is of Hebrew origin, the etymological meaning of which is, in all probability,

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • On New Year's of 1863 I attended what they called a jubilee meeting.

    "In Christ's Stead": Autobiographical Sketches

  • And a single syllable like the short i sound, as in the word jubilee, has no independent meaning at all. Top Stories

  • Fifty years later, newspaper editor John Ege says the golden jubilee is worth celebrating, if only because Nigeria has survived so much.

    Explosions During Nigerian Independence Celebrations Kill 8

  • The ultimate derivation of the word jubilee is disputed, but it is most probable that the Hebrew word jobel, to which it is traced, meant "a ram's horn", and that from this instrument, used in proclaiming the celebration, a certain idea of rejoicing was derived.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • No explicit mention is made of Communion, nor does the word jubilee occur in the Bull -- indeed the pope speaks rather of a celebration which is to occur every hundred years -- but writers both Roman and foreign described this year as annus jubileus, and the name jubilee

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • -- The name jubilee is derived from the Hebrew jobel, the joyful shout or clangor of trumpets, by which the year of jubilee was announced.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • The jubilee is a celebration of restoring things to their proper owners, a Shabbat LaShem, a Sabbath of the Lord's, because God's vision is a broad, beautiful and reliable vision: We do not have to possess to be worthy.

    Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson: Possessing And Releasing

  • MARTIN: And when you all first began singing together, it was in a style called jubilee, right, Mr. Carter?

    'Blind Boys' Inspire Fans Worldwide

  • They are amazing, and I think that the queen in particular, the way she keeps going through thick and thin, good times and bad times, only occasionally rewarded by the most fantastics of a sort of display of public acclaim, at times like the golden jubilee, which is so wonderful, but can I also ask India a question?

    CNN Transcript Mar 25, 2004


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