Definition of perennial in US English:

perennial

adjective

  • 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’
    • ‘Glazed carrots are a perennial favorite and a quick way to dress up a meal.’
    • ‘It was the perennial tug-of-war between engagement and withdrawal.’
    • ‘A perennial chestnut of debate about the police role has been whether the police are best considered as a force, with the primary function of enforcing the criminal law, or as a service, calming a sea of social troubles.’
    • ‘Getting students to experience this same epiphany is a perennial challenge for the teachers of every subject.’
    • ‘Yet he remains anchored in the permanent things, in the perennial liberal tradition.’
    • ‘Here's a perennial favourite that never fails to raise a chuckle or two.’
    • ‘We believed the pedagogy might offer tentative answers to some of the perennial questions of our profession: How can we motivate students to see the value of writing?’
    • ‘The menu changes daily, but the halibut macadamia is a perennial favorite.’
    • ‘It's the best, even if your club is engaged in perennial struggle.’
    • ‘They included volleyball and relays, but the perennial favourite was the interdepartmental Tug-of-War.’
    • ‘One perennial conceptual problem is moving students past notions that photographs are mere illustrations when paired with written text.’
    • ‘His life was lived trying to get in touch with the deepest truth of being and its enactment in society and an engagement with the perennial question of all Indian philosophies: Who am I?’
    • ‘On Tuesday night, they grappled with a perennial favourite - whether to put the community's interest above their own.’
    • ‘A perennial favourite among modern readers are the bestsellers on subjects such as cookery, home improvement, self-help and personality development.’
    • ‘For a very long time the people of this planet have been engaged in one of the perennial debates over the collective wisdom of crowds.’
    • ‘Internal communication difficulties were a perennial problem with large organisations, he claimed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The recent series of robberies from college accommodation has brought the perennial charge that students invite the thefts they are prey to.’
    • ‘But the variability of sales throughout the year, in what remains a soft market, is a perennial problem which he acknowledges publishers play a role in exacerbating.’
    • ‘During the team's first three seasons, the goaltending situation was a perennial sore spot.’
    everlasting, perpetual, eternal, continuing, unending, never-ending, endless, undying, ceaseless, abiding, enduring, lasting, persisting, permanent, constant, continual, unfailing, unchanging, never-changing
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    1. 1.1 (of a plant) living for several years.
      ‘tarragon is perennial’
      Compare with annual, biennial
      • ‘As perennial plants grow, they can fill the entire pot with their roots.’
      • ‘Perennial weeds growing from underground structures are capable of growing through organic mulches.’
      • ‘If the weeds are sparse, use that early spring energy to hand pull some of those perennial weeds.’
      • ‘Grasses other than perennial ryegrass give a poor return for money spent on fertiliser.’
      • ‘But in a perennial flower bed, you might want something more permanent and decorative.’
      • ‘Therefore, cattle could not be moved directly from wheat pasture to cool season perennial grass.’
      • ‘However, most studies of plant defense genes have been performed on annual or short-lived perennial weeds or crop species.’
      • ‘They are also used quite effectively when planted in close groups among perennial shrubs.’
      • ‘Fertilizers formulated for perennial flowers are usually fine.’
      • ‘If you plant perennial herbs in the vegetable garden, set them off so they'll be easy to avoid during spring and fall tilling.’
      • ‘Paraquat may severely injure some perennial grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass.’
      • ‘Perennial ryegrass is excellent for use in creep grazing pastures for young animals.’
      • ‘Weeds wither within a few minutes (though perennial weeds will require repeat applications).’
      • ‘Dormancy also occurs in summer in some perennial grasses originating from Mediterranean climates.’
      • ‘The perennial herb is native to southern Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean.’
      • ‘It may be tempting to choose perennial species for your garden by looks alone.’
      • ‘In general, avoid sowing seed of any annual grasses into a lawn of perennial grasses.’
      • ‘The bulbs can remain in the same location year after year and thus act as perennial plants.’
      • ‘Eliminate weeds, especially perennial weeds, before planting to reduce weed problems later.’
      • ‘There are some hardy perennial plants that we, as gardeners, simply must have.’
    2. 1.2attributive (of a person) apparently permanently engaged in a specified role or way of life.
      ‘he's a perennial student’
      • ‘Destined, it seems, to be cast in the role of perennial dark horses, too often they have taken a tumble at an early fence.’
      • ‘Perhaps you are a collector of qualifications - a perennial student.’
      • ‘Few scholars of our time have so exemplified the permanent student and perennial teacher.’
      • ‘He puts up big numbers, fits perfectly within a team concept, and plays a central role on a perennial powerhouse.’
      • ‘As a perennial student of crime, I am here to tell you that there is no such thing as a monster.’
      • ‘Their coach was cautious about his team's chances of finally ending its role as perennial second to Munich.’
      • ‘And yes, even the players acknowledge the team is a perennial underachiever.’
      • ‘Despite a massive budget and state-of-the-art facilities including not one but two test tracks, they remain perennial underachievers.’
      • ‘Scotland's coach does not usually want for words, but even the perennial optimist found it difficult to see any highlights amongst the autumnal gloom of yesterday's encounter.’
    3. 1.3 (of a stream or spring) flowing throughout the year.
      • ‘It has been found that the density of perennial streams relates directly to the available moisture, which is defined as precipitation minus evapotranspiration.’
      • ‘There are nearly 10,000 ponds and nearly 2,000 perennial streams.’
      • ‘The greatest concentrations of game in Namibia can be found in Etosha National Park, an enormous silvery depression ringed by perennial springs.’
      • ‘Water availability is a major challenge as the Lusitu river which used to be a perennial river has virtually dried up largely due to damming activities in Mazabuka up stream.’
      • ‘Among Anza-Borrego's wetlands is Coyote Creek, a perennial stream in the northwest corner of the park.’
      • ‘The cities and towns of the Kingdom are located on or near side wadis that used to have perennial flow emerging from springs.’
      • ‘With essential resources at a nadir, the Valparai plateau with its perennial streams obviously attracts elephant herds.’
      • ‘I can show how to make a perennial river in a six-minute film.’
      • ‘He said priorities include the implementation of the decision taken on agriculture, to have drop-down irrigation schemes along perennial rivers.’
      • ‘Up to 99 percent of the water in the perennial rivers of the Chihuahuan Desert is diverted to municipal water supplies or to irrigate fields.’
      • ‘This is unlike the situation in perennial lakes where sedimentation also occurs on sloping margins, thus perpetuating variations in depth.’
      • ‘Greenery crouches around the few perennial streams and artificially filled waterholes.’
      • ‘Northern Province is undoubtedly one of the most blessed parts of Zambia with abundant perennial streams that run throughout the year.’
      • ‘The ‘curse’ of Namibia is that the country's perennial rivers are far from the interior.’
      • ‘Can you think of some measures to control the flow of these natural and perennial springs?’
      • ‘Local people say the pond is slowly dying as the perennial spring which fed the waters has been choked by a slab laid for the construction of a building.’
      • ‘The once stable, slow - moving, marshy perennial river transformed into an unstable, flood-prone, intermittent stream.’
      • ‘The sequence may be random, erratic or a continuous pattern (for some time) but like a perennial river, the thought flow goes on.’
      • ‘After we turned the river Arvari into a perennial river through water harvesting, the government started to give out licenses for fishing in that river.’
      • ‘The Okavango River is quite unique in that it is the only perennial river in Africa that flows eastwards without reaching the ocean.’

noun

  • A perennial plant.

    • ‘The following is a list of suggested annuals, perennials and foliage plants.’
    • ‘In autumn she cuts back perennials and wraps roses with insulated shrub cloth.’
    • ‘I have found them to be short-lived perennials that go dormant in summer.’
    • ‘Garden irises are hardy, long-lived perennials that need a minimum of care.’
    • ‘But let me turn to the other side of the coin this week and look to raising perennials from seed.’
    • ‘At winter's end and just before new growth begins, cut back perennials and prune evergreens.’
    • ‘Planting perennials with different bloom times near each other will insure a garden that has blooms all season long.’
    • ‘Some may prove to be annuals, others short-lived perennials.’
    • ‘Lift and divide any herbaceous perennials that have grown too big or that have died out in the centre.’
    • ‘September and October are ideal for dividing overgrown perennials.’
    • ‘The secret to making your flowering trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials bloom more is in the numbers.’
    • ‘In fact, there are cases where planting perennials would actually make matters worse.’
    • ‘Growing perennials from seed is inexpensive, especially if you want to cover a large area.’
    • ‘Even gardeners are told when their tender perennials are at risk from frost.’
    • ‘One of the most valuable of these spring flowering perennials is the primula.’
    • ‘Take cuttings of tender perennials and annuals that you want to overwinter.’
    • ‘Climbing plants and tall perennials will need to be tied in and supported.’
    • ‘When most other perennials stop blooming, asters are just getting started.’
    • ‘We think it would be safer for you to divide your perennials in the spring.’
    • ‘Special trees were planted to create woody perennials to improve the microclimate and increase soil fertility.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

perennial

/pəˈrenēəl//pəˈrɛniəl/