1. a cut and polished precious stone; gem.
  2. a fashioned ornament for personal adornment, especially of a precious metal set with gems.
  3. a precious possession.
  4. a person or thing that is treasured, esteemed, or indispensable.
  5. a durable bearing used in fine timepieces and other delicate instruments, made of natural or synthetic precious stone or other very hard material.
  6. an ornamental boss of glass, sometimes cut with facets, in stained-glass work.
  7. something resembling a jewel in appearance, ornamental effect, or the like, as a star.

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

  1. to set or adorn with jewels.


  1. a precious or semiprecious stone; gem
  2. a person or thing resembling a jewel in preciousness, brilliance, etc
  3. a gemstone, often synthetically produced, used as a bearing in a watch
  4. a piece of jewellery
  5. an ornamental glass boss, sometimes faceted, used in stained glasswork
  6. 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

  1. (tr) to fit or decorate with a jewel or 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.

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