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[uh-noo-i-tee, uh-nyoo-] /əˈnu ɪ ti, əˈnyu-/
noun, plural annuities.
a specified income payable at stated intervals for a fixed or a contingent period, often for the recipient's life, in consideration of a stipulated premium paid either in prior installment payments or in a single payment.
the right to receive such an income, or the duty to make such a payment or payments.
Origin of annuity
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Anglo-French annuité, annualté < Medieval Latin annuitās, equivalent to Latin annu(us) yearly (derivative of annus year) + -itās -ity
Related forms
superannuity, noun, plural superannuities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for annuity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She compromised for an annuity of two hundred pounds, to be continued to her child.

  • My money is an annuity, so that I cannot leave anything to my children.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • If the deceased had no claim upon you, why did you promise him an annuity?

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • If she had taken her annuity as usual, you would not have been here, and we should have been better off.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • It is only fair to tell you that I have no money but my annuity.

    A Singer from the Sea Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • This man enjoyed, by my uncle's will, an annuity of fifty pounds.

    Two Sides of the Face Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • On her 75th birthday Susan's girls had presented her with an annuity of $800 a year.

    Susan B. Anthony Alma Lutz
  • My kind master, at my request, granted me a lump sum in place of my annuity.

British Dictionary definitions for annuity


noun (pl) -ties
a fixed sum payable at specified intervals, esp annually, over a period, such as the recipient's life, or in perpetuity, in return for a premium paid either in instalments or in a single payment
the right to receive or the duty to pay such a sum
Word Origin
C15: from French annuité, from Medieval Latin annuitās, from Latin annuusannual
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 annuity

early 15c., "a yearly allowance, grant payable in annual installments," from Anglo-French and Old French annuité (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin annuitatem (nominative annuitas), from Latin annus "year" (see annual (adj.)). Meaning "an investment that entitles one to equal annual payments" is from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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annuity in Culture
annuity [(uh-nooh-uh-tee)]

A sum of money payable yearly or at regular intervals.

Note: Many people's retirement funds are set up to be paid in annuities.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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