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 girls basketball team won state two years ago and the boys basketball team has been a perennial power, challenging for state titles. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "Alchesay High School cancels fall sports due to pandemic, will examine winter sports in October," 10 July 2020 Highlights include some of the city’s most luxurious escapes, as well as some perennial favorites of longtime Vegas-goers. Paul Brady, Travel + Leisure, "The Top 10 City Hotels in Las Vegas," 8 July 2020 Modeling who is likely to vote is a perennial challenge that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to make even thornier this year. Kabir Khanna, CBS News, "5 things to know about CBS News' 2020 Battleground Tracker," 12 July 2020 Native throughout much of eastern North America, this smaller sun perennial grows to about 2 feet tall with multiple, erect stems. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Got milkweed? Add some summer sizzle to your garden with these favorites of butterflies," 11 July 2020 New Orleans, a perennial favorite, came in No. 2 this year. Sara Clemence, Travel + Leisure, "The Top 15 Cities in the United States," 8 July 2020 The Atlanta Braves, winners of back-to-back NL East titles, had four players – including perennial MVP candidate Freddie Freeman – test positive. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "To play or not to play: MLB players face tough decisions amid coronavirus surge," 6 July 2020 Up next for the perennial German champion is the Champions League round of 16 second leg against Chelsea, with Bayern holding a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead following the first leg in London on February 25. Matias Grez, CNN, "Bayern Munich remains on course for historic treble with German Cup win over Bayer Leverkusen," 4 July 2020 This year’s finale could become a battle between two perennial contenders. Dallas News, "Texas Rangers considered a long shot for 2020 World Series title," 25 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

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perennial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perennial. Accessed 3 Aug. 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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