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First attested around 1382, borrowed from Late Latin annuālemannuālis, related to Latin annālis, adjective form of annus (year). From Proto-Italic *atnos, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂et-no-, probably from *h₂et- (to go). Cognate with Oscan akno- (year, holiday, time of offering)Gothic *𐌰𐌸𐌽 (*aþn) or *𐌰𐌸𐌽𐍃 (*aþnsyear) (attested in 𐌰𐍄𐌰𐌸𐌽𐌹 (ataþniyear)), dialectal Dutch aden (year). For the root, compare Sanskrit अतति (atatihe wanders, goes). Used to categorize plants since 1710.


  • (UK) IPA(key)/ˈæn.ju.əl//ˈæn.jəl/
  • (US) IPA(key)/ˈæn.ju.əl/


annual (not comparable)

  1. Happening once every year.
    an annual general meeting;  an annual publication
  2. Of, for, or relating to a whole year, often as a recurring cycle; determined or reckoned by the year; accumulating in the course of a year; performed, executed, or completed over the course of a year. See also circannual.
    an annual salary;  average annual profits;  the annual course of the sun
  3. (botany, of a plant) Having a life cycle that is completed in only one growing season; e.g. beans, corn, marigold. Compare biennialperennial.
  4. (entomology) Living or lasting just one season or year, as certain insects or insect colonies.


annual (plural annuals)

  1. An annual publication; a book, periodical, journal, report, comic book, yearbook, etc., which is published serially once a year, which may or may not be in addition to regular weekly or monthly publication.
     I read the magazine, but I usually don’t purchase the annuals.
  2. (botany) An annual plant; a plant with a life span of just one growing season; a plant which naturally germinates, flowers, and dies in one year. Compare biennialperennial.
     I can’t wait to plant my annuals in the spring.
  3. A medical checkup taking place once a year.
  4. (theater) A pantomime taking place once a year.
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