Definition of perennial in English:


Line breaks: per|en¦nial
Pronunciation: /pəˈrɛnɪəl


  • 1Lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring: his perennial distrust of the media perennial manifestations of urban crisis
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    • Over the years, various stage productions have added their own theatrical styles to the show, ensuring it remains a perennial favourite of theatre-goers around the world.
    • A perennial favourite among modern readers are the bestsellers on subjects such as cookery, home improvement, self-help and personality development.
    • On Tuesday night, they grappled with a perennial favourite - whether to put the community's interest above their own.
  • 1.1 [attributive] Apparently permanently engaged in a specified role or way of life: he’s a perennial student
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    • Few scholars of our time have so exemplified the permanent student and perennial teacher.
    • Their coach was cautious about his team's chances of finally ending its role as perennial second to Munich.
    • He puts up big numbers, fits perfectly within a team concept, and plays a central role on a perennial powerhouse.
  • 2(Of a plant) living for several years: cow parsley is perennial Compare with annual, biennial.
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    • If you plant perennial herbs in the vegetable garden, set them off so they'll be easy to avoid during spring and fall tilling.
    • Fertilizers formulated for perennial flowers are usually fine.
    • They are also used quite effectively when planted in close groups among perennial shrubs.
  • 3(Of a stream or spring) flowing throughout the year: spring streams rise from perennial springs
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    • Northern Province is undoubtedly one of the most blessed parts of Zambia with abundant perennial streams that run throughout the year.
    • Among Anza-Borrego's wetlands is Coyote Creek, a perennial stream in the northwest corner of the park.
    • The once stable, slow - moving, marshy perennial river transformed into an unstable, flood-prone, intermittent stream.


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  • A perennial plant: perennials will transform the garden in summer See also
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    • The following is a list of suggested annuals, perennials and foliage plants.
    • Garden irises are hardy, long-lived perennials that need a minimum of care.
    • Lift and divide any herbaceous perennials that have grown too big or that have died out in the centre.



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  • What comes across most powerfully in this sumptuous work is the wonder, variety and sheer barminess of mankind's perennially fruitless quest for a truly ideal home.
  • He is scruffy, self-effacing and funny and conjures up all of these attributes in his perennially popular excursions to far-flung corners of the globe.
  • These roads are perennially in a state of disrepair.


mid 17th century (in the sense 'remaining leafy throughout the year, evergreen'): from Latin perennis 'lasting the year through' + -ial.

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