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First attested around 1382, borrowed from Late Latin annuālem, annuālis, related to Latin annālis, adjective form of annus (year). Used to categorize plants since 1710.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈæn.ju.əl/, /ˈæn.jəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæn.ju.əl/
  • (file)


annual (not comparable)

  1. Happening once every year.
    • 2013 June 29, “Unspontaneous combustion”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 29:
      Since the mid-1980s, when Indonesia first began to clear its bountiful forests on an industrial scale in favour of lucrative palm-oil plantations, “haze” has become an almost annual occurrence in South-East Asia. The cheapest way to clear logged woodland is to burn it, producing an acrid cloud of foul white smoke that, carried by the wind, can cover hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles.
  2. Of, for, or relating to a whole year, often as a recurring cycle; determined or reckoned by the year; accumulating in the course of a year; performed, executed, or completed over the course of a year. See also circannual.
    an annual salary;  average annual profits;  the annual course of the sun
  3. (botany, of a plant) Having a life cycle that is completed in only one growing season; e.g. beans, corn, marigold. See Annual plant in Wikipedia. Compare biennial, perennial.
  4. (entomology) Living or lasting just one season or year, as certain insects or insect colonies.


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annual (plural annuals)

  1. An annual publication; a book, periodical, journal, report, comic book, yearbook, etc., which is published serially once a year, which may or may not be in addition to regular weekly or monthly publication.
    I read the magazine, but I usually don't purchase the annuals.
  2. (botany) An annual plant; a plant with a life span of just one growing season; a plant which naturally germinates, flowers and dies in one year. Compare biennial, perennial.
    I can't wait to plant my annuals in the spring.
  3. A medical checkup taking place once a year.
    • 1976, Better Homes and Gardens (volume 54, issues 7-12, page 250)
      Some routine annuals take a half hour and cost about $30.
  4. (theater) A pantomime taking place once a year.
    • 1919, Lionel Carson, The Stage Year Book (page 67)
      Excellent work has been done by the Playgoers' Club in connection with its Christmas Pantomime Fund. Thousands of children who possibly otherwise would have little chance of witnessing one of the hardy annuals have been annually taken []
    • 1949, Albert Edward Wilson, The Story of Pantomime (page 61)
      From 1852 until 1888 he was the author of every Drury Lane pantomime, or "Annuals" as in his old fashioned way he preferred to []



Alternative forms[edit]


  • (Hawick dialect) IPA(key): /ɑːnwʌull/


annual (not comparable)

  1. annual.