Entering English in the sense of “pertaining to spring” in 1534: From Latin vernālis (“of those things pertaining to the spring”), from vernus (“of spring”), from vēr (“spring”); compare Old French vernal, French vernal.
- Pertaining to spring.
1952, Norman Lewis, Golden Earth:
- On we went in this way, mile after mile, over hills and through valleys inundated with a frothing, vernal vegetation and filled with the odour of newly watered ferns in a glasshouse.
- Young; fresh. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- Belonging to youth.
- when after the long vernal day of life
- And seems it hard thy vernal years / Few vernal joys can show?
In everyday speech, used almost exclusively in the phrase vernal equinox; in other contexts, spring is used attributively, as in spring colors or spring flowers, and even vernal equinox is frequently replaced with spring equinox.
- (pertaining to seasons): summer (summery), aestival/estival; autumn, fall, autumnal; winter (wintry), hibernal, brumal
- vernal conjunctivitis
- vernal crocus
- vernal cyclamen
- vernal equinox, vernal equinoctial
- vernal gentian
- vernal grass
- vernal keratoconjunctivitis
- vernal orobus
- vernal pool
- vernal sandwort
- vernal season
- “vernal, a. (and n.)” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
- “vernal” listed in the Online Etymology Dictionary, © November 2001 Douglas Harper
- “vernal” listed in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
- “vernal” listed by Dictionary.com Unabridged (v1·1)
- ^ “vernal” listed in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- vernal (pertaining to spring)