Definition: Noun. The 50th anniversary of an event.

Etymology: The word is derived from the Hebrew word “yobhel” (meaning “ram’s horn”) that is influenced by the Latin word “jubilare” (meaning “to shout with joy”). In Jewish history, the jubilee is celebrated every 50 years, commemorating the deliverance from Egypt. The Old Testament (Leviticus 25:11-24, 39-54) describes how the jubilee was proclaimed with trumpets created from the horns of rams. Initially the word jubilee kept the meaning of “season of rejoicing” from the mid 15th century to the 20th century, when the term then applied to any 50th anniversary.

For further reading: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition edited by John Simpson and Edmund Weiner, Oxford University Press (1991), Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by John Ayto, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (2005).

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