Definition of biennial in English:

biennial

adjective

  • 1Taking place every other year:

    ‘the first of a series of biennial exhibitions’
    Compare with biannual
    • ‘Since then, her roughly biennial exhibitions of paintings have been one of the not-so-guilty pleasures of the art world.’
    • ‘Always a lively forum for esthetic debate and value judgments, the Museum's biennial exhibition surveys the latest trends in American art.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Approximately 2,400 individuals are randomly selected from each senior year cohort for biennial follow-up via mailed questionnaires.’
    • ‘The biennial showpiece underlines Aberdeen as a significant energy capital and as a centre of excellence for such technology.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a featured artist in the Museum's biennial exhibition this month, he has reason to smile.’
    • ‘It's understandable that speculation ran high as to what kind of biennial exhibition he would assemble.’
    • ‘Dedicated art-world globetrotters will have to plan their biennial jaunts wisely this year.’
    • ‘Cosmopolitan Johannesburg has a thriving art scene with a number of its top artists making names for themselves at international biennial exhibitions.’
    • ‘It continues to promote major biennial exhibitions, featuring both Brazilian and international contemporary art.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But it was far less than previous years when the biennial gala featured as many as 500 silent auction items.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Last month, the society held its third biennial conference in Washington, D.C.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The biennial exhibition in Venice has an obligation to test the present, to challenge it, says the director of this year's massive event.’
    • ‘This biennial festival took place in late June, beginning in 1961 and ran for 28 years.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2(of a plant) taking two years to grow from seed to fruition and die.

    Compare with annual, perennial
    • ‘Roundup can be used if thistles, Johnsongrass, or other perennial or biennial weeds are present in the small grain stubble.’
    • ‘Gramoxone should not be used for control of perennial or biennial weeds, legumes, or cool-season grasses.’
    • ‘In this and many other annual and biennial species, bolting is the earliest manifestation of the transition to reproduction.’
    • ‘Lettuce is an annual or perhaps a biennial herb and as such is by far the most popular edible herb in Ireland.’
    • ‘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.’

noun

  • 1A biennial plant.

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

    ‘the top antiques fairs are the Milan and Florence biennials’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His work found immediate and continued international success in prestigious festivals, symposia, broadcasts, biennials, museums and gallery exhibitions.’
    • ‘The Foundation celebrates its 12th biennial competition this year.’
    • ‘The official line on the biennial declared it ‘a major event in the cultural program of the government.’’
    • ‘The national gymnasts are calling for more overseas tryouts in their training program prior to the biennial sporting event in September.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As with the previous biennial, Berlin's gallery-strewn Mitte district will be the event's principal setting.’
    • ‘It's ski racing's biggest biennial bonanza, a snow-sport event for Alpine purists, and this year it's coming to Italy.’
    • ‘Regardless, the party will keep biennial sessions because there is no significant interest in changing them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two years ago, that script made him the youngest-ever recipient of Canada's biennial Playwriting Prize.’
    • ‘During the two years between biennials, the committee ensures the participation of venues by continuously meeting with curators, artists and other organizers.’
    • ‘The issue was brought up at the recent biennial convention, where there was lengthy discussion on a proposed policy.’
    • ‘While most installations at this year's event are serious explorations of profound themes, the biennial also celebrates unadulterated creativity.’
    • ‘He was featured in the last company design biennial.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The role of the gallery is being radically transformed by the surging number of fairs, biennials and contemporary auctions.’
    • ‘For our non-UK readers, this is an biennial charity event set up by leading comedians to provide funds for developing countries.’
    • ‘The biennial will open with a downtown celebration, including exhibitions, music, performances and large-scale projections.’

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/