One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Repeatedly over a number of years; for years without change. Compare "year on year". Now rare.
2With reference to trends, gradual increases or decreases, etc.: with or in each passing or successive year.
3With reference to figures, financial data, etc.: as compared with the corresponding information from the previous year.
Economics and Finance (chiefly North American). Relating to or shown by a comparison of corresponding figures from two consecutive years.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Arthur Aikin (1773–1854), natural scientist and author. From year + over + year.
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