SKIP TO CONTENT

perennial

Perennial typically describes things that are permanent, constant, or repeated. If you fight with your parents every year over whether they really must invite your annoying cousins for Thanksgiving, you could call that a perennial conflict.

Arguing with your roommate about who cleaned the bathroom last time might be a perennial argument. There is also a perennial plant, which lasts more than two years and usually reappears each spring, because it produces flowers and seeds from the same root structure. Perennial comes from the Latin perennis, from the prefix per-, "through," plus annus, or "year." Annus is also the source of our English word annual — an annual plant lives only one year or season.

Definitions of perennial
  1. adjective
    lasting an indefinitely long time; suggesting self-renewal
    perennial happiness”
    Synonyms:
    long
    primarily temporal sense; being or indicating a relatively great or greater than average duration or passage of time or a duration as specified
  2. adjective
    recurring again and again
    perennial efforts to stipulate the requirements”
    synonyms: recurrent, repeated
    continual
    occurring without interruption; chiefly restricted to what recurs regularly or frequently in a prolonged and closely spaced series
  3. adjective
    lasting three seasons or more
    “the common buttercup is a popular perennial plant”
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    annual, one-year
    completing its life cycle within a year
    biennial, two-year
    having a life cycle lasting two seasons
    show more antonyms...
  4. noun
    (botany) a plant lasting for three seasons or more
    see moresee less
    types:
    Eryngium yuccifolium, button snakeroot, rattlesnake master, rattlesnake's master
    coarse prickly perennial eryngo of United States thought to cure rattlesnake bite
    type of:
    flora, plant, plant life
    (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week