Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[puh-ren-ee-uh l] /pəˈrɛn i əl/
lasting for an indefinitely long time; enduring:
her perennial beauty.
(of plants) having a life cycle lasting more than two years.
lasting or continuing throughout the entire year, as a stream.
perpetual; everlasting; continuing; recurrent.
a perennial plant:
Daffodils and tulips are perennials.
something that is continuing or recurrent.
Origin of perennial
1635-45; < Latin perenni(s) lasting the whole year through (per- per- + -enn-, combining form of annus year + -is adj. suffix) + -al1
Related forms
perenniality, noun
perennially, adverb
Can be confused
annual, perennial.
1. perdurable; constant, incessant, continual. 4. imperishable, undying, eternal, immortal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for perennial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Bacon and greens and her perennial tea were good enough for her.

  • And for art-lovers, what perennial beauty of an antique art is here.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • There is no sere and yellow leaf here—fruits and flowers are perennial.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • Seed-time and harvest are perennial on these peculiar islands.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • But for her son it still had all the misery of perennial newness.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter
British Dictionary definitions for perennial


lasting throughout the year or through many years
everlasting; perpetual
a woody or herbaceous plant that can continue its growth for at least two years Compare annual (sense 3), biennial (sense 3)
Derived Forms
perennially, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin perennis continual, from per through + annus year
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for perennial

1640s, "evergreen," formed in English from Latin perennis "lasting through the year (or years)," from per- "through" (see per) + annus "year" (see annual). Botanical sense of "Remaining alive through a number of years" is attested from 1670s; figurative meaning of "enduring, permanent" is from 1750. Related: Perennially. For vowel change, see biennial. The noun meaning "a perennial plant" is from 1763.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
perennial in Science
Adjective  Living for three or more years.

Noun  A perennial plant. Herbaceous perennials survive winter and drought as underground roots, rhizomes, bulbs, corms, or tubers. Woody perennials, including vines, shrubs, and trees, usually stop growing during winter and drought. Asters, irises, tulips, and peonies are familiar garden perennials. Compare annual, biennial.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for perennial

Word Value for perennial

Scrabble Words With Friends