ver·​nal | \ ˈvər-nᵊl How to pronounce vernal (audio) \

Definition of vernal

1 : of, relating to, or occurring in the spring vernal equinox vernal sunshine
2 : fresh or new like the spring also : youthful

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Other Words from vernal

vernally \ ˈvər-​nᵊl-​ē How to pronounce vernal (audio) \ adverb

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If you want to sound sophisticated this spring, you can do what various learned individuals have done since the 16th century and refer to the spring equinox as the vernal equinox. You might also alter a classic rhyme to chant "Vernal showers bring May flowers." Or if you really want to wax poetic, you could compliment your lass's vernal grace or your beau's vernal charm. If you do, and your sweetheart asks where such a word comes from, you can further impress by saying, "'Vernal,' my dear, comes from the Latin 'vernalis,' which is derived from the Latin word for spring, 'ver.'"

Examples of vernal in a Sentence

trees and flowers in vernal bloom
Recent Examples on the Web The plane failed to leave the ground when trying to take off and then crashed into a Federal Aviation Administration navigational aid, ran through an environmentally sensitive vernal pool and then crashed, spilling 3,400 gallons of fuel, Rubio said. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Apr. 2021 Mass Audubon offers several ways to explore vernal pools in person., 24 Mar. 2021 The Persian New Year, on the vernal equinox, lasts for 13 days. New York Times, 22 Mar. 2021 Meteorological spring began on March 1, but to many the official first day of spring is marked by the vernal equinox — and that’s today (Saturday, March 20). Leigh Morgan, al, 20 Mar. 2021 Perhaps the vernal equinox on Saturday will give you time to reflect upon everything that’s happened since the last one., 19 Mar. 2021 The vernal equinox is Saturday marking the start of spring. Dallas News, 19 Mar. 2021 The vernal equinox in March marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 13 Mar. 2021 Black bears, fat on sweet chestnuts, drag their feet on the loamy ground and salamanders skitter through vernal pools in the forest that was and the forest that could be. Seyward Darby, Longreads, 5 Mar. 2021

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

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vernal

borrowed from Latin vernālis, from vernus "of spring" (going back to pre-Latin *u̯esri-no-, adjective derivative from the base of Latin vēr "spring") + -ālis -al entry 1; vēr "spring," going back to Indo-European *u̯ḗs-r̥-, *u̯es-n̥-s, whence also Old Norse vár "spring," Old Frisian wars, wērs, Welsh gwanwyn (Old Welsh guiannuin, from British Celtic *u̯esantēno-), Middle Irish errach (probably from *u̯esrāko-, with generalization of the lenited initial consonant), Old Church Slavic vesna, Russian vesná, Lithuanian vãsara "summer," Greek éar "spring" (from *u̯ehar, from *u̯esr̥), Armenian garun (gar- from *gehar-, from *u̯esr̥- + a suffix), Sanskrit vasantá-, Avestan vaŋri (locative) "in the spring"

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Dictionary Entries Near vernal



vernal grass

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Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vernal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for vernal



English Language Learners Definition of vernal

formal : of, relating to, or occurring in the spring


ver·​nal | \ ˈvər-nᵊl How to pronounce vernal (audio) \

Kids Definition of vernal

: marking the beginning of spring the vernal equinox

More from Merriam-Webster on vernal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vernal Encyclopedia article about vernal


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