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

Examples of annus horribilis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But what about Hollywood’s worst year — its annus horribilis maximus? Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Dec. 2023 Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press Bud Light’s partnership deal with UFC last month was a rare win for the beer brand this year, an annus horribilis dominated by a damaging consumer boycott over its collaboration with a transgender influencer. Katie Deighton, WSJ, 9 Nov. 2023 This year has proved to be another annus horribilis for Vice, with Dubuc stepping down as CEO in February and Jesse Angelo, Vice’s global president of news and entertainment, exiting in March. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 May 2023 But the year was as much an awakening as an annus horribilis: Researchers and citizens alike, in the United States and beyond, chose to speak out at rallies, on social media and even in the political arena — unprecedented numbers of scientists are considering a run for office. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 28 Dec. 2017 Then came the annus horribilis of 2016. Samuel Moyn, The New Republic, 14 Feb. 2023 How did the annus horribilis affect the monarchy? Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Nov. 2022 Revenue-wise, the Danish market hit DKK 994.67 million ($144.3 million), up 52% from the 2021 annus horribilis for cinemas, but just 16% down on the 2019 trawl, according to the Danish Film Institute (DFI), and based on figures from cinema association FAFID. Annika Pham, Variety, 3 Feb. 2023 In 1992, England’s Queen Elizabeth II used annus horribilis in her annual Christmas message to describe a year of lowlights that included a massive fire at Windsor Castle, the collapse of several royal marriages, and a toe-sucking scandal involving the Duchess of York. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'annus horribilis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, literally, horrible year

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of annus horribilis was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near annus horribilis

Cite this Entry

“Annus horribilis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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