Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (often italicized) A horrible year
1900 February 22, “Year One of the Empire”, page 105:
- It is now a full year since the treaty with Spain was ratified, and the ignoble and bloody war in the Philippines began — a true annus horribilis.
1936, John T. Whitaker, And Fear Came, page 208:
- As the year 1934, an annus horribilis of political murder and bankrupt statesmanship, drew toward a close, Europe had the jitters.
2008 December 23, Justin McCurry & Mark Milner, “Sales slump puts Toyota on track for first loss in 70 years”:
- "Toyota will undoubtedly be looking forward to the end of this financial year, which promised so much, yet has become an annus horribilis," said Ian Fletcher.
- Often associated specifically with Queen Elizabeth II, who used the phrase in referring to her family's difficulties in 1992.