ver·nal | \ˈvər-nᵊl \

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 \-nᵊl-ē \ adverb

Did You Know?

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

Bancroft, who is an expert on vernal pools, as well as on other animals and habitats, gave a short presentation before beginning field observations. Kitty Leshay, Courant Community, "Vernal Pools Bursting With Life," 8 May 2018 This craggy basalt mesa is, per its name, flat as a tabletop, but in spring vastly more beautiful, dotted with leafing-out oaks and brilliant with lupine and poppies and vernal pools that reflect the sky. Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle, "Road trip along Sierra Nevada’s Feather River," 16 Mar. 2018 In this the Jews and Christians were like pretty much every culture on Earth that has celebrated the vernal equinox around this time of year—birth and rebirth, spring from winter. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Star Wars Is Becoming a Religion, and May 4 Is Its Spring Festival," 4 May 2018 The Council ruled that Easter would be held on the Sunday following the fourteenth day of the Passover moon - the moon that appears on or after the vernal equinox. Joe Songer,, "Awesome dogs and owners we saw at Mutt Strut 2018," 7 Apr. 2018 The holiday typically occurred around the time of the vernal equinox or the first day of spring, signaling a change from the dark days of winter to the cheery days of spring. Leada Gore,, "When was the last time Easter was on April Fool's Day?," 30 Mar. 2018 The vernal equinox occurs Tuesday morning, astronomically marking the start of spring. Tom Skilling,, "Spring opens with February-level temperatures," 20 Mar. 2018 Leaving aside the complexities of a Rube Goldberg storm scenario featuring multiple moving parts, accumulating snow would confront significant seasonal obstacles, not the least of which is the occurrence of the vernal equinox on Tuesday. Anthony R. Wood,, "Snow forecast a 'nightmare' for meteorologists, and perhaps the rest of us," 20 Mar. 2018 The vernal equinox is far less controversial than another marker of spring in the U.S.: daylight saving time. Mackenzie Schmidt,, "Everything You Need to Know About the Spring Equinox: When It Is and Why We Follow It," 19 Mar. 2018

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" (adjective derivative from the base of vēr "spring," going back to Indo-European *u̯es-r-, *u̯es-n-, whence Old Norse vár "spring," Greek éar, Old Church Slavic vesna, Sanskrit vasanta-) + -ālis -al entry 1

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The first known use of vernal was in 1530

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More Definitions for vernal



English Language Learners Definition of vernal

: of, relating to, or occurring in the spring


ver·nal | \ˈvər-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of vernal

: marking the beginning of spring the vernal equinox

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More from Merriam-Webster on vernal

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Spanish Central: Translation of vernal Encyclopedia article about vernal

Comments on vernal

What made you want to look up vernal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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