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From Middle English anniversary, from Medieval Latin anniversāria (diēs), anniversārium, from anniversārius (yearly), from annus (year) + vertere (to turn).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌænɪˈvɜːs(ə)ɹi/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌænɪˈvɝs(ə)ɹi/, /ˌænəˈvɝs(ə)ɹi/
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anniversary (plural anniversaries)

  1. A day that is an exact number of years (to the day) since a given significant event occurred. Often preceded by an ordinal number indicating the number of years.
    Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war.
    1. (especially) Such a day that commemorates a wedding.
      We are celebrating our tenth anniversary today.
  2. (loosely) A day subsequent in time to a given event by some significant period other than a year (especially as prefixed by the amount of time in question).
    • 1984 February 27, “Never Mind the Tranquil Facade”, in Time:
      The occasion was the six-month anniversary of the Aug. 8 coup that brought General Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores to power.
    • 2002 March 14, ‘Politics this Week’, The Economist:
      In a thinly veiled threat to Saddam Hussein, President George Bush marked the six-month anniversary of September 11th by reiterating America's commitment to prevent rogue countries obtaining weapons of mass destruction.
    • 2006, DB Schrock, Soulmonger Dot Com, page 28:
      Jonathon proposed to his [Jess's] mom on their three-month anniversary of meeting and married her on their fourth.

Usage notes[edit]

Despite the loose usage, phrases with an ordinal number preceding "anniversary" are typically understood as being in years. For example, "4th anniversary" or "fourth anniversary" is understood as being four years after the event being remembered.



Derived terms[edit]