an·​nu·​al | \ ˈan-yə(-wə)l How to pronounce annual (audio) , -yü-əl \

Definition of annual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : covering the period of a year annual rainfall annual income
2 : occurring or happening every year or once a year : yearly an annual reunion an annual physical checkup
3 : completing the life cycle in one growing season or single year annual plants



Definition of annual (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an event that occurs yearly
2 : a publication appearing yearly the high-school annual
3 : something that lasts one year or season specifically : a plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season

Examples of annual in a Sentence

Adjective The annual meeting is in July. The company's earnings for last year are published in the annual report. We had more snow this year than the average annual amount. The company charges an annual fee of $45. Noun We planted some annuals in front of the house.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As a nonprofit, tax-exempt health system, Beaumont is required to provide the government and interested parties detailed information regarding executive compensation on an annual basis. Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, "Beaumont Health paid CEO $2.6 million bonus weeks before bailout," 17 Nov. 2020 In mid-November, when Gov. Kate Brown froze most of Oregon due to spikes in COVID-19 cases, the Oregon Zoo closed its gates to foot traffic and restructured its annual ZooLights event as a drive-through only experience. oregonlive, "Oregon Zoo reopening to daytime visitors following lift of COVID-19 freeze order," 24 Dec. 2020 The parade was hosted by the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Taste of Park Ridge Committee in lieu of the city’s annual Winterfest event, which was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jennifer Johnson,, "Santa rolls through Park Ridge in ‘Taste of Winterfest’ parade," 21 Dec. 2020 The organization holds the film festival and annual PorchRokr outdoor concert event, which was also held virtually this year due to the pandemic. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Highland Square Film Festival hosts virtual ‘at-home’ festival with shorts from Akron-area filmmakers," 21 Dec. 2020 Women in Classical Music Symposium – This annual event features talks and panel discussions on topics relevant to women in the classical music industry. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "The Dallas Symphony Orchestra uses the spirit of celebration to resume beloved musical traditions," 16 Dec. 2020 This weekend, Orange County Convention Center will once again be transformed into a place packed with pups as the AKC National Championship returns for its annual event Dec. 12-13. Patrick Connolly,, "Dogs, owners prepare for crowdless AKC National Championship with modifications," 7 Dec. 2020 Fore Life will be celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa with its annual ChriHanaza event at 3 p.m. Emmett Hall,, "Lawrence Taylor’s Fore Life, Inc. teams up with toy drives," 3 Dec. 2020 Christmas in Rockefeller Center NBC is dedicating prime-time to the 88th annual New York City event that kicks off the holiday season. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘SEAL Team’ on CBS; NFL football on NBC," 1 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Area garden centers can help residents choose from a wide variety of deer-resistant annuals and perennials. cleveland, "Defeat deer with smart and easy landscape solutions," 4 June 2020 John Cooley, an entomologist at the University of Connecticut, says their relatively long life cycles aren’t what distinguish periodical cicadas from annuals. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "Millions of cicadas are emerging in the U.S. right now. Here’s why.," 3 June 2020 Plant single species or mixes of warm-season annuals about one inch deep. Gerald Almy, Field & Stream, "What’s the Best Food Plot Forage for Each Region?," 28 May 2020 At Bigelow Nurseries in Northborough, Mass., workers stayed hours after closing on Friday, pulling in annuals like begonias and petunias. Maria Cramer, New York Times, "‘Nerve-Racking and Very Unusual’: Snow in May Worries Growers," 9 May 2020 Choose drought-tolerant plants and/or native vegetation, and perennials instead of annuals. Susan Jin Davis, NBC News, "Here's how you can make a difference on Earth Day while under quarantine," 22 Apr. 2020 Except for the biennial foxglove, all of those are annuals — plants that arise not from their roots the following year (as perennials and biennials do) but deposit some of their seed to sprout when conditions are favorable. Margaret Roach, New York Times, "Shopping Your Garden," 28 Apr. 2020 Kranz and Savio recommend easy-to-grow annuals such as broccoli, radishes, lettuce, chard, kale, parsley and peas during the cool season. Los Angeles Times, "What is an annual? What is a perennial? And why does it matter?," 28 Feb. 2020 Yew Dell Botanical Gardens Annual Spring Plant Sale WHAT: With approximately 500 varieties of perennials, trees, shrubs, tropicals, succulents, herbs and annuals, this is the largest variety of plants available in the area. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Thanks to horticultural hanky panky, coral bells aren't your grandma’s garden plant anymore," 24 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'annual.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of annual


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for annual

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French annuel, from Late Latin annualis, blend of Latin annuus yearly (from annus year) and Latin annalis yearly (from annus year); probably akin to Goth athnam (dative plural) years, Sanskrit atati he walks, goes

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Time Traveler for annual

Time Traveler

The first known use of annual was in the 14th century

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Statistics for annual

Last Updated

14 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Annual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for annual



English Language Learners Definition of annual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: happening once a year
: covering the period of a year
of a plant : living for only one year or season : having a life cycle that is one year or season long



English Language Learners Definition of annual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant that lives for only one year or season
: a book or magazine that is published once a year


an·​nu·​al | \ ˈan-yə-wəl How to pronounce annual (audio) \

Kids Definition of annual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : coming, happening, done, made, or given once a year The library holds an annual book sale.
2 : completing the life cycle in one growing season annual plants

Other Words from annual

annually adverb She visits her aunt annually.



Kids Definition of annual (Entry 2 of 2)

: an annual plant

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