[an-yoo-uh l]



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 formsan·nu·al·ly, adverbin·ter·an·nu·al, adjectivein·ter·an·nu·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedanal annual annulannual perennial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for annuals

yearlong, anniversary, report, summary, yearbook

Examples from the Web for annuals

Historical Examples of annuals

  • These are annuals, and perish at the close of the growing season.

    Seed Dispersal

    William J. Beal

  • In all the years of his ministry I never knew him to lose hope in his annuals.

  • Annuals flower the same season the seeds are sown, perfect their seeds, and then die.

    Your Plants

    James Sheehan

  • Annuals are divided into three classes, hardy, half-hardy, and tender.

    Your Plants

    James Sheehan

  • I have no disposition to say disparaging things about the garden of annuals.

    Amateur Gardencraft

    Eben E. Rexford

British Dictionary definitions for annuals



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 Formsannually, 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

Word Origin and History for annuals



late 14c., from Old French annuel (12c.) or directly from Late Latin annualem (nominative annualis), corresponding to Latin annalis as adjective form of annus "year," from PIE *at-no-, from root *at- "to go," on notion of "period gone through" (cf. Sanskrit atati "goes, wanders," Gothic aþnam (dative plural) "year," Oscan akno- "year, holiday, time of offering"). Used of plants since 1710.



c.1400, originally "service commemorating the anniversary of a person's death," from annual (adj.). By 1824 as short for annual plant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

annuals in Science




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.