[ an-yoo-uh l ]
/ ˈæn yu əl /



Botany. a plant living only one year or season.
a book, report, etc., published annually.

Origin of annual

1350–1400; < Late Latin annuālis, equivalent to Latin annu(us) yearly (derivative of annus circuit of the sun, year) + -ālis -al1; replacing Middle English annuel < Anglo-French < Latin

Related forms

an·nu·al·ly, adverbin·ter·an·nu·al, adjectivein·ter·an·nu·al·ly, adverb

Can be confused

anal annual annulannual perennial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for annual

British Dictionary definitions for annual


/ (ˈænjʊəl) /


occurring, done, etc, once a year or every year; yearlyan annual income
lasting for a yearan annual subscription


a plant that completes its life cycle in less than one yearCompare perennial (def. 3), biennial (def. 3)
a book, magazine, etc, published once every year

Derived Forms

annually, adverb

Word Origin for annual

C14: from Late Latin annuālis, from Latin annuus yearly, from 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

Science definitions for annual


[ ănyōō-əl ]


Completing a life cycle in one growing season.


An annual plant. Annuals germinate, blossom, produce seed, and die in one growing season. They are common in environments with short growing seasons. Most desert plants are annuals, germinating and flowering after rainfall. Many common weeds, wild flowers, garden flowers, and vegetables are annuals. Examples of annuals include tomatoes, corn, wheat, sunflowers, petunias, and zinnias. Compare biennial perennial.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.