What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[an-yoo-uh l] /ˈæn yu əl/
of, for, or pertaining to a year; yearly:
annual salary.
occurring or returning once a year:
an annual celebration.
Botany. living only one growing season, as beans or corn.
performed or executed during a year:
the annual course of the sun.
Entomology. living or lasting but one season or year, as certain insects or colonies of insects.
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
annually, adverb
interannual, adjective
interannually, adverb
Can be confused
anal, annual, annul.
annual, perennial. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for annuals
  • Colorful annuals make welcome additions to winter-to-spring gardens.
  • Instead of low-growing, dark-leaved annuals for pots.
  • Feeds a broad range of plants, from annuals and perennials to ornamentals in containers.
  • Plant annuals types in late spring or summer, and perennials from spring through fall.
  • With their rainbow of colors and long bloom season, annuals are naturals for container gardens.
  • As a group, zinnias rank among the best-performing summer annuals.
  • For ease of care, he used only perennials, no annuals.
  • If grown outside their preferred climate, they're best treated as annuals.
  • Treat them as the backbone of a border combined with perennials, annuals, and herbs.
  • We've trained star jasmine up the arbors and planted annuals in the remaining space.
British Dictionary definitions for annuals


occurring, done, etc, once a year or every year; yearly: an annual income
lasting for a year: an annual subscription
a plant that completes its life cycle in less than one year Compare perennial (sense 3), biennial (sense 3)
a book, magazine, etc, published once every year
Derived Forms
annually, adverb
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
annuals in Science
Adjective  Completing a life cycle in one growing season.

Noun  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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for annual

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for annuals

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with annuals