annus horribilis


an·​nus hor·​ri·​bi·​lis ˈa-nəs-hȯr-ˈi-bə-ləs How to pronounce annus horribilis (audio)
plural anni horribiles ˈa-ˌnī-hȯr-ˈi-bə-ˌlēz How to pronounce annus horribilis (audio)
: a disastrous or unfortunate year

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web And though the official announcement was not made until Dec. 9, after the annus horribilis speech, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, separated from Princess Diana. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 9 Nov. 2022 Eventually, these non-decomposable medical accessories would form their own geological layer, a permanent mark of the annus horribilis 2020 in our earthly strata. Laura Bliss, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Apr. 2022 Last year energy rebounded from the annus horribilis of 2020 and became the best-performing sector in the U.S. equity and debt markets. Paul H. Tice, WSJ, 15 Mar. 2022 Now, more than two decades on, the New York magazine journalist Andrew Rice has built a different list, which views the absurdities of that annus horribilis from the other end of the telescope. Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2022 With restrictions rescinded, crowds are bound to flock once more, and likely in even greater number, as domestic travel continues to remedy the lingering effects of our very own annus horribilis. J.d. Simkins, Sunset Magazine, 25 Jan. 2022 After 2020, truly an annus horribilis for American higher education, most veteran observers thought college enrollment would start growing again this fall. Richard Vedder, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2021 Modi is having the kind of year for which the Latin phrase annus horribilis was invented. Vasuki Shastry, Fortune, 4 Nov. 2021 In California, nearly as many acres have burned so far this year as burned in the entire annus horribilis of 2018. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2021 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, literally, horrible year

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of annus horribilis was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near annus horribilis

Cite this Entry

“Annus horribilis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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