Definition of biennial in English:

biennial

adjective

  • 1Taking place every other year.

    ‘the first of a series of biennial exhibitions’
    Compare with biannual
    • ‘Fifteen contemporary artists working in the realm of public art were selected by a jury to create site-specific sculptures for this third biennial exhibition.’
    • ‘It continues to promote major biennial exhibitions, featuring both Brazilian and international contemporary art.’
    • ‘As a featured artist in the Museum's biennial exhibition this month, he has reason to smile.’
    • ‘Always a lively forum for esthetic debate and value judgments, the Museum's biennial exhibition surveys the latest trends in American art.’
    • ‘The girls were in Belgium for a week for the biennial championships and took part in a series of friendly relays and events as well as the main races.’
    • ‘Since then, her roughly biennial exhibitions of paintings have been one of the not-so-guilty pleasures of the art world.’
    • ‘Cosmopolitan Johannesburg has a thriving art scene with a number of its top artists making names for themselves at international biennial exhibitions.’
    • ‘This biennial festival took place in late June, beginning in 1961 and ran for 28 years.’
    • ‘Established in 1998, this biennial exhibition award honors Tremaine, a life-long collector of contemporary art, who formed the foundation prior to her 1987 death.’
    • ‘While building his huge mansion in New York City, he loaned paintings from his collection to the museum, and in 1907 he provided prize money for the museum's first biennial exhibition.’
    • ‘It is only seven months until the country's biennial ratings are released for national garden cities.’
    • ‘In one cohort women undergo biennial screening over 10 years and in the other cohort they do not.’
    • ‘It's understandable that speculation ran high as to what kind of biennial exhibition he would assemble.’
    • ‘The biennial showpiece underlines Aberdeen as a significant energy capital and as a centre of excellence for such technology.’
    • ‘The biennial exhibition in Venice has an obligation to test the present, to challenge it, says the director of this year's massive event.’
    • ‘One of the reasons for holding the biennial exhibition is to raise funds through the sale of works by renowned artists to support Women's Crisis Centers in the country.’
    • ‘Approximately 2,400 individuals are randomly selected from each senior year cohort for biennial follow-up via mailed questionnaires.’
    • ‘Last month, the society held its third biennial conference in Washington, D.C.’
    • ‘Dedicated art-world globetrotters will have to plan their biennial jaunts wisely this year.’
    • ‘But it was far less than previous years when the biennial gala featured as many as 500 silent auction items.’
  • 2(of a plant) taking two years to grow from seed to fruition and die.

    Compare with annual, perennial
    • ‘Burdock, also known as Cockle Burr, is a biennial plant which can grow to nine feet in height.’
    • ‘Lettuce is an annual or perhaps a biennial herb and as such is by far the most popular edible herb in Ireland.’
    • ‘In this and many other annual and biennial species, bolting is the earliest manifestation of the transition to reproduction.’
    • ‘Roundup can be used if thistles, Johnsongrass, or other perennial or biennial weeds are present in the small grain stubble.’
    • ‘For example, during the second year of their biennial life cycle, sprouting red beet plants require the mobilization of vacuolar sucrose from the underground hypocotyl.’
    • ‘Different taxa are shrubs, dwarf shrubs and perennial, biennial or annual herbs, and they are found in different habitats including cultivated fields, sand dunes or mountain rocks at high altitudes.’
    • ‘Gramoxone should not be used for control of perennial or biennial weeds, legumes, or cool-season grasses.’
    • ‘In a nutshell, biennial plants are just like annual and perennial plants except that it takes them two years to complete their life cycles.’
    • ‘Italian ryegrass, a biennial species, also may be used to increase productivity of older stands.’
    • ‘Lesquerella mendocina plants remained vegetative, showing a biennial habit, when sown in the field in late spring even when artificially vernalized, or in a glasshouse at similar temperatures to those of late sowings in the field.’

noun

  • 1A biennial plant.

    • ‘They can be either annuals, biennials, or perennials, depending on their species.’
    • ‘Then there's the biennial; a plant that grows leaves one year, then flowers, seeds and dies the next.’
    • ‘Border carnations are those varieties typically grown outdoors by gardeners either as perennials, biennials, or annuals.’
    • ‘The group includes annuals, biennials and perennials.’
    • ‘Wildflowers are either self-sowing annuals, biennials or perennials.’
    • ‘A total of 441 are annuals, biennials, and herbaceous perennials; 97 are woody and suffrutescent taxa.’
    • ‘Some of our favorite vegetables (carrots, radishes, etc.) are biennials, meaning they take two seasons to complete their life cycles and produce seeds.’
    • ‘Dig up and store tender bulbs from your summer garden, and cut back the worn-out perennials and biennials.’
    • ‘Plan on replanting parsley every spring; as a biennial, it goes to seed and dies the second year.’
    • ‘I supplement them with annuals, biennials, vines, bulbs, and a few flowering shrubs.’
    • ‘Violas are low - growing perennials often treated as biennials or annuals, depending on the climate in which they are grown.’
    • ‘Primroses are members of the genus Primula and can be perennials, biennials, or tender annuals.’
    • ‘Plant out hardy biennials such as foxgloves and wallflowers in their flowering positions.’
    • ‘Most people treat them as annuals or biennials, removing plants when flowering declines.’
    • ‘So what kind of plants are classified as biennials?’
    • ‘You should plant spring-flowering hardy annuals and biennials as soon as you can.’
    • ‘The plant is a biennial; and there are two principal varieties, white and purple.’
    • ‘Wildflowers and native plants also may be classified as annuals, biennials or perennials.’
    • ‘Given that these plants appear to be biennials, the time frame is actually closer to only 30 generations.’
    • ‘You can also sow biennials, such as forget-me-nots.’
  • 2An event celebrated or taking place every two years.

    ‘the top antiques fairs are the Milan and Florence biennials’
    • ‘During the two years between biennials, the committee ensures the participation of venues by continuously meeting with curators, artists and other organizers.’
    • ‘Thanks to his patronage of events such as the biennial, the city is the cultural capital of this nation made wealthy by oil, shipbuilding and business.’
    • ‘He was featured in the last company design biennial.’
    • ‘Two years ago, that script made him the youngest-ever recipient of Canada's biennial Playwriting Prize.’
    • ‘His work found immediate and continued international success in prestigious festivals, symposia, broadcasts, biennials, museums and gallery exhibitions.’
    • ‘As event planners seek to position benefits and biennials and clear dates for auctions, openings and galas, they need to know what else is happening and when and where.’
    • ‘Regardless, the party will keep biennial sessions because there is no significant interest in changing them.’
    • ‘The biennial will open with a downtown celebration, including exhibitions, music, performances and large-scale projections.’
    • ‘While most installations at this year's event are serious explorations of profound themes, the biennial also celebrates unadulterated creativity.’
    • ‘For our non-UK readers, this is an biennial charity event set up by leading comedians to provide funds for developing countries.’
    • ‘The issue was brought up at the recent biennial convention, where there was lengthy discussion on a proposed policy.’
    • ‘The official line on the biennial declared it ‘a major event in the cultural program of the government.’’
    • ‘The $800,000 bill for this year's show, at a time of economic difficulty, has attracted criticism, but the co-curator insists the biennial is value for money.’
    • ‘The national gymnasts are calling for more overseas tryouts in their training program prior to the biennial sporting event in September.’
    • ‘This new event is Australia's second international biennial, the Sydney Biennale having established itself since 1973 as one of the world's leading exhibitions of this genre.’
    • ‘The Foundation celebrates its 12th biennial competition this year.’
    • ‘It's ski racing's biggest biennial bonanza, a snow-sport event for Alpine purists, and this year it's coming to Italy.’
    • ‘All are under the age of 50 and, according to the planner, they are sophisticated and accomplished, compared to the young artists who participated in the biennial.’
    • ‘As with the previous biennial, Berlin's gallery-strewn Mitte district will be the event's principal setting.’
    • ‘The role of the gallery is being radically transformed by the surging number of fairs, biennials and contemporary auctions.’

Usage

Biennial and biannual are often confused. Biennial means 'occurring every two years' (the biennial Ryder Cup tournament), while biannual means 'twice a year' (the solstice is a biannual event). See also bi-

Origin

Early 17th century: from Latin biennis (from bi- ‘twice’ + annus ‘year’) + -al.

Pronunciation

biennial

/bʌɪˈɛnɪəl/