Definition of anniversary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌanəˈvərs(ə)rē/

noun (plural anniversaries)

1The date on which an event took place in a previous year: the 50th anniversary of the start of World War II [as modifier]: anniversary celebrations
More example sentences
  • The celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the event have been unprecedented in scope.
  • Postage stamps are often issued to commemorate the anniversary of an important event.
  • This month marks the 70th anniversary of the opening of the first drive-in theater.
1.1The date on which a country or other institution was founded in a previous year: Canada’s 125th anniversary
More example sentences
  • Now JetBlue's offering a bonanza of deals, in honor of the airline's fifth anniversary.
  • In fact, at the high school's anniversary next year, they were planning to have her as a keynote speaker.
  • The college is currently in preparations for the 100th year anniversary of its opening in 1906.
1.2The date on which a couple was married in a previous year: he even forgot our tenth anniversary!
More example sentences
  • Who else can say they got divorced on the tenth anniversary of their wedding?
  • No matter how old you are it is important not to forget your wedding anniversary as Pat Evans found out to his cost last week.
  • A couple approaching their golden anniversary have thanked the Lord for 50 years of marital bliss.
1.3 informal The date on which a romance began in a previous month or week.
Example sentences
  • It was only when she forgot about their one month anniversary that his true nature began to surface.
  • One theme that crops up week after week are those who hit their 5 or 6 month anniversary.
  • Things progressed in this same manner, until about a week after our 3 month anniversary.


Middle English: from Latin anniversarius 'returning yearly', from annus 'year' + versus 'turning'.

  • annual from Late Middle English:

    This comes via Old French from late Latin annualis, based on Latin annus ‘year’. The notion of a ‘yearbook’ recording events of the past year, arose in the late 17th century. From the same word we get annals (mid 16th century) from Latin annales (libri) ‘yearly (books)’ giving a historical record of the events throughout each year; anniversary (Middle English) ‘returning yearly’; annuity (Late Middle English) something paid ‘yearly’; perennial (mid 17th century) ‘[lasting] through the year’; and the Latin phrases annus horribilis ‘year of disasters’ and annus mirabilis ‘wonderful year’.

Words that rhyme with anniversary

bursary, cursory, mercery, nursery

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: an·ni·ver·sa·ry

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