jubilee [joo-buh-lee, joo-buh-lee]
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.
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. Also called jubilee indulgence. the plenary indulgence granted during such a period.
6. Also, Jubile. 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.
8. flambé (def 1): cherries jubilee for dessert.
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Origin: 1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French jubile < Late Latin < jūbilaeus < Late Greek iōbēlaîos (with ō and ē > u and i by assimilation to Latin jūbilāre to shout for joy) < Hebrew yōbhēl ram's horn, jubilee
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