1. a special anniversary (or the celebration of it)
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Jubilee \Ju"bi*lee\, n. [F. jubil['e], L. jubilaeus, Gr. ?, fr.
Heb. y[=o]bel the blast of a trumpet, also the grand
sabbatical year, which was announced by sound of trumpet.]
1. (Jewish Hist.) Every fiftieth year, being the year
following the completion of each seventh sabbath of years,
at which time all the slaves of Hebrew blood were
liberated, and all lands which had been alienated during
the whole period reverted to their former owners. [In this
sense spelled also, in some English Bibles, jubile.]
--Lev. xxv. 8-17.
2. The joyful commemoration held on the fiftieth anniversary
of any event; as, the jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign;
the jubilee of the American Board of Missions.
3. (R. C. Ch.) A church solemnity or ceremony celebrated at
Rome, at stated intervals, originally of one hundred
years, but latterly of twenty-five; a plenary and
extraordinary indulgence granted by the sovereign pontiff
to the universal church. One invariable condition of
granting this indulgence is the confession of sins and
receiving of the eucharist.
4. A season of general joy.
The town was all a jubilee of feasts. --Dryden.
5. A state of joy or exultation. [R.] "In the jubilee of his
spirits." --Sir W. Scott.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a special anniversary (or the celebration of it)
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
73 Moby Thesaurus words for "jubilee":
anniversaries, anniversary, annual holiday, bicentenary,
bicentennial, biennial, birthday, bissextile day, celebrating,
celebration, centenary, centennial, ceremony, commemoration,
decennial, diamond jubilee, dressing ship, elation, exultation,
fanfare, fanfaronade, festivity, flourish of trumpets,
golden wedding anniversary, holiday, holy days, hoopla,
immovable feast, jubilance, jubilation, leap year,
marking the occasion, memorialization, memory, merriment, name day,
natal day, observance, octennial, ovation, quadrennial,
quasquicentennial, quincentenary, quincentennial, quinquennial,
raucous happiness, rejoicing, religious rites, remembrance, revel,
rite, ritual observance, salute, salvo, septennial,
sesquicentennial, sextennial, show of joy,
silver wedding anniversary, solemn observance, solemnization,
tercentenary, tercentennial, testimonial, testimonial banquet,
testimonial dinner, toast, tribute, tricennial, triennial, triumph,
wedding anniversary, whoopee
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
a joyful shout or clangour of trumpets, the name of the great
semi-centennial festival of the Hebrews. It lasted for a year.
During this year the land was to be fallow, and the Israelites
were only permitted to gather the spontaneous produce of the
fields (Lev. 25:11, 12). All landed property during that year
reverted to its original owner (13-34; 27:16-24), and all who
were slaves were set free (25:39-54), and all debts were
The return of the jubilee year was proclaimed by a blast of
trumpets which sounded throughout the land. There is no record
in Scripture of the actual observance of this festival, but
there are numerous allusions (Isa. 5:7, 8, 9, 10; 61:1, 2; Ezek.
7:12, 13; Neh. 5:1-19; 2 Chr. 36:21) which place it beyond a
doubt that it was observed.
The advantages of this institution were manifold. "1. It would
prevent the accumulation of land on the part of a few to the
detriment of the community at large. 2. It would render it
impossible for any one to be born to absolute poverty, since
every one had his hereditary land. 3. It would preclude those
inequalities which are produced by extremes of riches and
poverty, and which make one man domineer over another. 4. It
would utterly do away with slavery. 5. It would afford a fresh
opportunity to those who were reduced by adverse circumstances
to begin again their career of industry in the patrimony which
they had temporarily forfeited. 6. It would periodically rectify
the disorders which crept into the state in the course of time,
preclude the division of the people into nobles and plebeians,
and preserve the theocracy inviolate."