adjective \pə-ˈre-nē-əl\

of a plant : living for several years or for many years : having a life cycle that is more than two years long

: existing or continuing in the same way for a long time

: happening again and again

Full Definition of PERENNIAL

:  present at all seasons of the year
:  persisting for several years usually with new herbaceous growth from a perennating part <perennial asters>
a :  persistent, enduring <perennial favorites>
b :  continuing without interruption :  constant, perpetual <the perennial quest for certainty> <a perennial student>
c :  regularly repeated or renewed :  recurrent <death is a perennial literary theme>
perennial noun
pe·ren·ni·al·ly \-nē-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of PERENNIAL

  1. This variety of oregano is perennial.
  2. Flooding is a perennial problem for people living by the river.
  3. The problem … is inherent and perennial in any democracy, but it has been more severe in ours during the past quarter-century because of the near universal denigration of government, politics and politicians. —Michael Kinsley, Time, 29 Oct. 2001


Latin perennis, from per- throughout + annus year — more at per-, annual
First Known Use: 1644

Other Seed Plant Terms

aubergine, box, bramble, briar, composite, perpetual, pulse, trefoil


adjective \pə-ˈren-ē-əl\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PERENNIAL

: present at all seasons of the year <perennial rhinitis>


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any plant that persists for several years, usually with new herbaceous growth from a part that survives from season to season. Trees and shrubs are perennial, as are some herbaceous flowers and vegetative ground covers. Perennials have only a limited flowering period, but, with maintenance throughout the growing season, they provide a leafy presence and shape to the garden landscape. Popular flowering perennials include bellflowers, chrysanthemums, columbines, larkspurs, hollyhocks, phlox, pinks, poppies, and primroses. See also annual, biennial.


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