With the Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne approaching, I'm seeing the word Jubilee more frequently than normal.

Is there a word to describe the people celebrating with the same root as the word Jubilee.

Everybody involved in the celebrations was (jubilee adjective).

On a similar note, what other words might fit there? What describes the feeling of general well-being, neighbourly feeling one might also experience at New Year's celebrations?

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    There is jubilant. Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:09
  • 1
    @Cerberus Better that than jubilated in the sense of retired.
    – tchrist
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:10
  • 2
    As a side note, OneLook's wildcard feature is a good tool for answering questions like this.
    – J.R.
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:15
  • ex OED jubilated: R.C. Church. That has completed his fiftieth year in orders. “There had died lately in the convent a jubilated father preacher, a man of great consideration in the order.” Note that in the Latin countries, “jubilated” means retired. The citation is for a slightly narrower ecclesiastical sense, however.
    – tchrist
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:17
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    hmm.. jubilerific? Commented May 30, 2012 at 15:48

3 Answers 3


The word jubilee comes from Latin jūbilaeus and from Hebrew yōbēl which means a ram's horn which was used to proclaim the jubilee year.

The word jubilant comes from Latin jūbilāre which meant "to shout for joy."

The roots of the two words are not the same (ref: Chambers dictionary); jubilant is not an adjective for jubilee, in fact the adjective is jubilar (Free dictionary) and the rather uncommon jubilean (Ref: can find this only in OED and I see the red line in my browser even as I type this.).

But in your sentence, you need a term for happy, so it is jubilant that fits well.

Everybody involved in the celebrations was jubilant.

  • 2
    This answer is incorrect. The OED clearly states that jubilean is the adjective that pertains to jubilee: “Of or belonging to a jubilee.”
    – tchrist
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:22
  • @tchrist: Sorry, I only checked Chambers and didn't find jubilean. Edited the answer now. The problem with the roots is mentioned in OED as well. In Chambers it is clearly specified as "jūbilāre... Not connected with jubilee".
    – Bravo
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:32

Jubilant fits well here, although it doesn't come from the same root apparently.

  • Thanks, been driving me nuts. I was stuck on the "word" jubilious. Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:13
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    @James I'd suggest jubilicious instead of jubilious. It's not real either, but it's jubilant plus delicious rather than jubilant plus bilious.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:16
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    @James I appreciate the nod, but my answer was hasty and apparently not correct (although I think it fits your sentence better, since presumably not everyone in the celebration was jubilated). You can unaccept it and accept a different one.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:55
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    Very modest of you =] Commented May 30, 2012 at 15:58

The OED defines jubilean as “Of or belonging to a jubilee.” Here are its citations:

  • 1624 J. Gee Hold Fast 41 To visit the holy Fathers Iubilean pompe.
  • 1705 T. Hearne Ductor Historicus (ed. 2) I. i. i. 12 The Sabbatical and Jubilean Years.
  • 1836 Fraser's Mag. 13 583 The jubilean period of forty-nine years will be complete.

See also the OED entry for jubilee for more details, which includes these senses:

  • 1a. Jewish Hist. (More fully year of jubilee). A year of emancipation and restoration, which according to the institution in Lev. xxv was to be kept every fifty years, and to be proclaimed by the blast of trumpets throughout the land; during it the fields were to be left uncultivated, Hebrew slaves were to be set free, and lands and houses in the open country or unwalled towns that had been sold were to revert to their former owners or their heirs.

  • b. fig. or transf. A time of restitution, remission, or release.

  • 2 R.C. Church A year instituted by Boniface VIII in 1300 as a year of remission from the penal consequences of sin, during which plenary indulgence might be obtained by a pilgrimage to Rome, the visiting of certain churches there, the giving of alms, fasting three days, and the performance of other pious works. It was at first appointed to take place every hundred years, but the period was afterwards shortened to fifty, thirty-three, and twenty-five years, and now ‘an extraordinary jubilee is granted at any time either to the whole Church or to particular countries or cities, and not necessarily or even usually for a whole year’ (Cath. Dict. 1885).

  • 3a. The fiftieth anniversary of an event; the celebration of the completion of fifty years of reign, of activity, or continuance in any business, occupation, rank or condition. silver jubilee (after silver wedding), a name for the celebration for the twenty-fifth anniversary; so diamond jubilee, applied to the celebration of the sixtieth year of the reign of Queen Victoria.

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