[ puh-ren-ee-uhl ]
/ 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

per·en·ni·al·i·ty, nounper·en·ni·al·ly, adverb

Can be confused

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

British Dictionary definitions for perenniality


/ (pəˈrɛnɪəl) /


lasting throughout the year or through many years
everlasting; perpetual


a woody or herbaceous plant that can continue its growth for at least two yearsCompare annual (def. 3), biennial (def. 3)

Derived Forms

perennially, adverb

Word Origin for perennial

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

Science definitions for perenniality


[ pə-rĕnē-əl ]


Living for three or more years.


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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.