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See also: Vernal


Alternative forms[edit]

  • vernall (archaic, 16th–17th-century spelling)[1]


Entering English in the sense of “pertaining to spring” in 1534[2]: From Latin vernālis (of those things pertaining to the spring)[1][2][3][4], from vernus (of spring)[1][2][3][4], from vēr (spring)[1][2][3][4][5]; compare Old French vernal, French vernal.



vernal (comparative more vernal, superlative most vernal)

  1. Pertaining to spring.
    • 1794, Robert Southey, Wat Tyler:
      Look round: the vernal fields smile with new flowers,
      The budding orchard perfumes the soft breeze,
      And the green corn waves to the passing gale.
    • 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.
  2. Young; fresh. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. Belonging to youth.
    • Thomson
      when after the long vernal day of life
    • Keble
      And seems it hard thy vernal years / Few vernal joys can show?

Usage notes[edit]

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.


Coordinate terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 vernal, a. (and n.)” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 vernal” listed in the Online Etymology Dictionary, © November 2001 Douglas Harper
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 vernal” listed in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 vernal” listed by Unabridged (v1·1)
  5. ^ vernal” listed in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition




vernal m or f (plural vernais, comparable)

  1. vernal (pertaining to spring)



From Latin vernālis.



vernal (plural vernales)

  1. vernal (pertaining to spring)
    Synonym: primaveral

Further reading[edit]