[uh-noo-i-tee, uh-nyoo-]

noun, plural an·nu·i·ties.

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

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 formssu·per·an·nu·i·ty, noun, plural su·per·an·nu·i·ties. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for annuity

Contemporary Examples of annuity

  • With the remaining $1.775 million, he can buy an annuity that yields almost $89,000 - which still beats working.

  • But that $1 million is actually an annuity, which pays out about $25,000 over 40 years—before taxes.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Reality TV Scams

    Andy Dehnart

    June 14, 2010

Historical Examples of annuity

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for annuity


noun plural -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 for annuity

C15: from French annuité, from Medieval Latin annuitās, from Latin annuus annual
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 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

annuity in Culture



A sum of money payable yearly or at regular intervals.


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.