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[an-uh-vur-suh-ree] /ˌæn əˈvɜr sə ri/
noun, plural anniversaries.
the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event:
the tenth anniversary of their marriage.
the celebration or commemoration of such a date.
returning or recurring each year; annual.
pertaining to an anniversary:
an anniversary gift.
Abbreviation: anniv.
Origin of anniversary
1200-50; Middle English anniversarie (< Anglo-French) < Medieval Latin (diēs) anniversāria anniversary (day), Latin anniversārius recurring yearly, equivalent to anni- (combining form of annus year) + vers(us) turned, past participle of vertere (vert- turn + -tus past participle suffix) + -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for anniversary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Old First Night is the anniversary of the very first meeting, I suppose.

    Ethel Morton at Chautauqua Mabell S. C. Smith
  • The 25th was the first anniversary of the day she had quitted the shores of England.

    Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston
  • Great preparations are making for the celebration of the Fourth of July, which is the anniversary of the national independence.

    Cora and The Doctor Harriette Newell Baker
  • I cannot forget that this is the anniversary of the interment of my dear father.

  • On such an anniversary he was obviously bound, no matter at what personal inconvenience, to show a like public spirit.

British Dictionary definitions for anniversary


noun (pl) -ries
the date on which an event occurred in some previous year: a wedding anniversary
the celebration of this
of or relating to an anniversary
recurring every year, esp on the same date
Word Origin
C13: from Latin anniversārius returning every year, from annus year + vertere to turn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anniversary

early 13c., originally especially of the day of a person's death, from Medieval Latin anniversarium, from Latin anniversarius (adj.) "returning annually," from annus (genitive anni) "year" (see annual (adj.)) + versus, past participle of vertere "to turn" (see versus). The adjective came to be used as a noun in Church Latin as anniversaria (dies) in reference to saints' days. An Old English word for "anniversary" (n.) was mynddæg, literally "mind-day."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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