annus horribilis

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From the Latin annus (year) + horribilis (of horrors)


annus horribilis

  1. (often italicized) A horrible year
    • 1900, February 22, Year One of the Empire[1], 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[2], 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”, in Sales slump puts Toyota on track for first loss in 70 years[3]:
      "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.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often associated specifically with Queen Elizabeth II, who used the phrase in referring to her family's difficulties in 1992.

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]



annus horribilis m (uncountable)

  1. (often italicized) annus horribilis (a horrible year)