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

Other Words from perennial

perennial noun
perennially \ pə-​ˈre-​nē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce perennial (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" (a 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.
Recent Examples on the Web There are the perennial gripes about his production, but, as always, the criticisms about Bleachers cut closest to the bone. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 Replace grass under a tree with mulch or a perennial garden. Avoid edging. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 15 May 2022 Most Valuable Player, its go-to receiver and its perennial placekicker, the man who paid his way to the franchise’s first training camp in 1960 and played every week thereafter. John Powers, BostonGlobe.com, 13 May 2022 Education has been a perennial strength for Democrats. Mary Katharine Ham, CNN, 12 May 2022 Gunselman’s has an extensive specialty burger menu, but the Mushroom Swiss Burger is a perennial best-seller. cleveland, 9 May 2022 And like it or not, the U.S. has already been forced to build the court up, the perennial objections from the Pentagon that the ICC should not be permitted to have jurisdiction over U.S. military personnel notwithstanding. Thomas Geoghegan, The New Republic, 9 May 2022 Joshua Smith finished these French doors in Benjamin Moore White Dove (a perennial designer favorite). Kristin Tablang, House Beautiful, 9 May 2022 Scarce housing also remains a perennial challenge in this densely populated city of 7 million. Washington Post, 8 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near perennial

perennate

perennial

perennial canker

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Statistics for perennial

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Perennial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perennial. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for perennial

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

More from Merriam-Webster on perennial

Nglish: Translation of perennial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perennial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about perennial

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