perennial

adjective
pe·​ren·​ni·​al | \ pə-ˈre-nē-əl How to pronounce perennial (audio) \

Definition of perennial

1 : present at all seasons of the year
2 : persisting for several years usually with new herbaceous growth from a perennating part perennial asters
3a : 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

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Other Words from perennial

perennial noun
perennially \ pə-​ˈre-​nē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce perennially (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for perennial

continual, continuous, constant, incessant, perpetual, perennial mean characterized by continued occurrence or recurrence. continual often implies a close prolonged succession or recurrence. continual showers the whole weekend continuous usually implies an uninterrupted flow or spatial extension. football's oldest continuous rivalry constant implies uniform or persistent occurrence or recurrence. lived in constant pain incessant implies ceaseless or uninterrupted activity. annoyed by the incessant quarreling perpetual suggests unfailing repetition or lasting duration. a land of perpetual snowfall perennial implies enduring existence often through constant renewal. a perennial source of controversy

Did You Know?

Nowadays when we talk about "perennial plants," or simply "perennials" ("perennial" can be a noun, too), we mean plants that die back seasonally but produce new growth in the spring. But originally "perennial" was equivalent to "evergreen," used for plants that remain with us all year. We took this "throughout the year" sense straight from the Romans, whose Latin perennis combined "per-" ("throughout") with a form of "annus" ("year"). The poet Ovid, writing around the beginning of the first millennium, used the Latin word to refer to a "perennial spring" (water source), and the scholar Pliny used it of birds that don't migrate. Our "perennial" retains these same uses, for streams and occasionally for birds, but it has long had extended meanings, too.

Examples of perennial in a Sentence

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 The issue between science and art is of perennial interest to me, since I started off in science in college, in medicine, was headed for psychiatry, and ended up writing novels … — Walker Percy, "The State Of The Novel," 1977, in Signposts in a Strange Land1991 … scientists are warning that a perennial viral threat, the upcoming flu season, could be far more dangerous than usual—more evidence that these tiny foes are responsible for a large share of human suffering. — Claudia Wallis, Time, 3 Nov. 1986 This variety of oregano is perennial. Flooding is a perennial problem for people living by the river.
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Recent Examples on the Web The dearth of research on therapist self-disclosure further complicates the matter; little progress has been made toward the perennial question in psychology: What works for whom under what circumstances? Adrienne Lapidos, The Conversation, "COVID-19 and teletherapy may be changing how much you know about your therapist," 1 July 2020 Bickerstaff was part of the coaching staff in Houston as Harden emerged from Oklahoma City castoff to perennial MVP candidate. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Kevin Porter Jr. shows potential to be franchise building block: Cleveland Cavaliers Season Review," 29 June 2020 Homeowners enjoy resort-style amenities, including acres of green space, a greenbelt along Duck Creek, a modern farmhouse barn amenity center, a swimming pool, miles of trails, an expansive dog park and perennial gardens. Dallas News, "Villas ready in new Garland community," 28 June 2020 Access to life-saving vaccines is a perennial issue in poorer countries. Randy Thanthong-knight, Bloomberg.com, "Thailand Says It’s on Track for Covid-19 Vaccine Human Trials," 26 June 2020 Most folks don't plant densely enough, no doubt because full sized ground cover and perennial plants are expensive, and planting dozens of them becomes costly. The Washington Post, "Adrian Higgins on bee hotels and all things gardening.," 25 June 2020 Nopalito, from the same team behind perennial Chronicle Top 100 restaurant Nopa, has permanently shuttered its Inner Sunset location. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco’s Nopalito cites coronavirus for permanently closing location," 25 June 2020 The Rams now will be joined by perennial state title contenders and fellow private schools St. Paul’s and UMS-Wright. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "Can veteran coach Jack French continue football success at Class 5A Faith Academy?," 24 June 2020 One of the largest perennial streams in Arizona, the Verde River, runs through the Tonto and is a major tributary of the Salt River. Erin Stone, azcentral, "As Bush Fire becomes one of largest in Arizona history, water and wildlife at risk," 22 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perennial.' 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 perennial

circa 1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for perennial

Latin perennis, from per- throughout + annus year — more at per-, annual

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Time Traveler for perennial

Time Traveler

The first known use of perennial was circa 1660

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Statistics for perennial

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perennial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perennial. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for perennial

perennial

adjective
How to pronounce perennial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of perennial

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

perennial

adjective
pe·​ren·​ni·​al | \ pə-ˈre-nē-əl How to pronounce perennial (audio) \

Kids Definition of perennial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : present all through the year a perennial stream
2 : living from year to year a perennial plant
3 : never ending : constant perennial joy
4 : happening again and again perennial flooding

perennial

noun

Kids Definition of perennial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant that lives from year to year

perennial

adjective
pe·​ren·​ni·​al | \ pə-ˈren-ē-əl How to pronounce perennial (audio) \

Medical Definition of perennial

: present at all seasons of the year perennial rhinitis

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Comments on perennial

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