jubilee


noun

  1. the celebration of any of certain anniversaries, as the twenty-fifth (silver jubilee), fiftieth (golden jubilee), or sixtieth or seventy-fifth (diamond jubilee).
  2. the completion of 50 years of existence, activity, or the like, or its celebration: Our college will celebrate its jubilee next year.
  3. any season or occasion of rejoicing or festivity.
  4. rejoicing or jubilation.
  5. Roman Catholic Church.
    1. an appointed year or other period, ordinarily every 25 years (ordinary jubilee), in which a plenary indulgence is granted upon repentance and the performance of certain religious acts.
    2. a period of time (extraordinary jubilee) declared by the pope as a time of rejoicing, as for an anniversary, when a plenary indulgence is granted upon repentance and the performance of certain religious acts.
    3. Also called jubilee indulgence.the plenary indulgence granted during such a period.
  6. Also Ju·bi·le. Chiefly Biblical. a yearlong period to be observed by Jews once every 50 years, during which Jewish slaves were to be freed, alienated lands were to be restored to the original owner or an heir, the fields were to be left untilled, and all agricultural labors were to be suspended. Lev. 25.Compare sabbatical year(def 2).
  7. a black American folk song concerned with future happiness or deliverance from tribulation.

adjective

  1. flambé(def 1): cherries jubilee for dessert.

noun

  1. a time or season for rejoicing
  2. a special anniversary, esp a 25th or 50th one
  3. RC Church a specially appointed period, now ordinarily every 25th year, in which special indulgences are granted
  4. Old Testament a year that was to be observed every 50th year, during which Hebrew slaves were to be liberated, alienated property was to be restored, etc
  5. a less common word for jubilation
n.

late 14c., in the Old Testament sense, from Old French jubileu “jubille; anniversary; rejoicing,” from Late Latin jubilaeus “the jubilee year,” originally an adjective, “of the jubilee,” altered (by association with Latin jubilare “to shout with joy”) from Greek iabelaios, from iobelos, from Hebrew yobhel “jubilee,” formerly “a trumpet, ram’s horn,” literally “ram.”

The original notion was of a year of emancipation of slaves and restoration of lands, to be celebrated every 50th year (Levit. xxv:9); it was proclaimed by the sounding of a ram’s horn on the Day of Atonement. The Catholic Church sense of “a period for remission of sin penalties in exchange for pilgrimages, alms, etc.” was begun in 1300 by Boniface VIII. The general sense of “season of rejoicing” is first recorded mid-15c., though through early 20c. the word kept its specific association with 50th anniversaries. As a type of African-American folk song, it is attested from 1872.

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