an·​nu·​al | \ ˈan-yə(-wə)l How to pronounce annual (audio) , -yü-əl \

Definition of annual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : covering the period of a year annual rainfall annual income
2 : occurring or happening every year or once a year : yearly an annual reunion an annual physical checkup
3 : completing the life cycle in one growing season or single year annual plants



Definition of annual (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an event that occurs yearly
2 : a publication appearing yearly the high-school annual
3 : something that lasts one year or season specifically : a plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season

Examples of annual in a Sentence

Adjective The annual meeting is in July. The company's earnings for last year are published in the annual report. We had more snow this year than the average annual amount. The company charges an annual fee of $45. Noun We planted some annuals in front of the house.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The 38th annual Christmas Cottage Craft Fair will take place at a new location this year: St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 224 Lovely St., 22 Oct. 2021 Bakkt projects that by 2025, the total pool of rewards will mushroom from today’s $1.6 trillion to $5.0 trillion, for an annual growth rate of 25%. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2021 At almost 158%, Lebanon has the second-highest annual inflation rate in the world after Venezuela, according to calculations by Steve Hanke, a Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University. Nazih Osseiran, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2021 Scare on the Square: Main Street Wadsworth’s annual community tradition, Scare on the Square featuring Wadsworth Thriller, is back! Sam Boyer, cleveland, 15 Oct. 2021 Incorporate lifestyle changes, such as exercise, healthy eating, meditation, and regular and annual exams, to help reduce possible risk. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings,, 12 Oct. 2021 The Biden Administration calculates that America’s richest 400 families pay an average annual income tax rate of just 8.2%. Time, 29 Sep. 2021 Said says the program is expanding at an average annual growth rate of 18%. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 13 Sep. 2021 That was the message from Venice Film Festival jury president Bong Joon Ho at a press conference on Wednesday morning in Italy to kick off the 78th annual festivities on the Lido. Ramin Setoodeh, Variety, 1 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Besides its good looks, 'Royal Velvet' is a fragrant annual with a distinct scent that's especially strong in late afternoon and early evening. Sheryl Geerts, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 May 2021 Area garden centers can help residents choose from a wide variety of deer-resistant annuals and perennials. cleveland, 4 June 2020 John Cooley, an entomologist at the University of Connecticut, says their relatively long life cycles aren’t what distinguish periodical cicadas from annuals. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, 3 June 2020 Plant single species or mixes of warm-season annuals about one inch deep. Gerald Almy, Field & Stream, 28 May 2020 At Bigelow Nurseries in Northborough, Mass., workers stayed hours after closing on Friday, pulling in annuals like begonias and petunias. Maria Cramer, New York Times, 9 May 2020 Choose drought-tolerant plants and/or native vegetation, and perennials instead of annuals. Susan Jin Davis, NBC News, 22 Apr. 2020 Except for the biennial foxglove, all of those are annuals — plants that arise not from their roots the following year (as perennials and biennials do) but deposit some of their seed to sprout when conditions are favorable. Margaret Roach, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2020 Kranz and Savio recommend easy-to-grow annuals such as broccoli, radishes, lettuce, chard, kale, parsley and peas during the cool season. Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for annual

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French annuel, from Late Latin annualis, blend of Latin annuus yearly (from annus year) and Latin annalis yearly (from annus year); probably akin to Goth athnam (dative plural) years, Sanskrit atati he walks, goes

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Time Traveler for annual

Time Traveler

The first known use of annual was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near annual



annual bluegrass

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Statistics for annual

Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Annual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for annual



English Language Learners Definition of annual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: happening once a year
: covering the period of a year
: living for only one year or season : having a life cycle that is one year or season long



English Language Learners Definition of annual (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant that lives for only one year or season
: a book or magazine that is published once a year


an·​nu·​al | \ ˈan-yə-wəl How to pronounce annual (audio) \

Kids Definition of annual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : coming, happening, done, made, or given once a year The library holds an annual book sale.
2 : completing the life cycle in one growing season annual plants

Other Words from annual

annually adverb She visits her aunt annually.



Kids Definition of annual (Entry 2 of 2)

: an annual plant


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