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 Strong said city officials are preparing for the annual fireworks festival at Deerpath Community Park. Daniel I. Dorfman,, "Lake Forest, Lake Bluff planning 2021 summer events after pandemic shuttered them last year," 4 May 2021 The organizers of Oktoberfest, Munich's heralded and raucous annual beer festival, have sought to reassure distraught Germans by dismissing rumors that the event will move to Dubai. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Munich reassures Germans that Oktoberfest won't be moving to Dubai," 2 May 2021 The scene of the deadly stampede in Israel was at an annual Jewish festival on Mount Meron. Washington Post, "History of the religious festival that turned into a deadly stampede in Israel," 30 Apr. 2021 According to a press release, the third annual music festival is expanding from one to two days due to high demand and rave reviews around the festival's lineup. Shelby Stewart, Chron, "Astroworld will return to Houston for third time," 30 Apr. 2021 From July 9-18, the annual Hydrangea Festival celebrates the colorful flowers with garden tours and workshops. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "Best Places to Travel in July," 30 Apr. 2021 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a huge free annual festival in Golden Gate Park., "Recalling when the magic happened at Presto Records," 29 Apr. 2021 Evett was born and raised in South Pittsburg, Tenn., a town of about 3,000 best known for its cast iron pans and annual cornbread festival. al, "The Tennessee Trap: How one state’s war on Medicaid fraud ensnares working moms in Alabama," 26 Apr. 2021 Cordova is only a couple weeks away from its annual shorebird festival. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "As birds begin to crowd Alaska’s shores and fields, look for the arrival of the tiny painted lady butterfly," 24 Apr. 2021 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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Annual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 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

Comments on annual

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