From Middle English juel, jewel, juwel, jeuel, jowel, from Anglo-Norman juel, from Old French jouel, joel, joiel, of uncertain origin. Perhaps based ultimately on Latin gaudium (“joy”), or on Latin iocus (“joke; jest”). Compare Medieval Latin jocale.
jewel (plural jewels)
- A precious or semi-precious stone; gem, gemstone.
- A valuable object used for personal ornamentation, especially one made of precious metals and stones; a piece of jewellery.
- (figuratively) Anything considered precious or valuable.
Galveston was the jewel of Texas prior to the hurricane.
c. 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The VVinters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by