Annal vs annual

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Annal and annual are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation, but have two different meanings. We will examine the definitions of annal and annual, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

An annal is a record of what has happened in a given year or the recording of one particular item in a chronicle. Most often, annal is used in the plural form, particularly in the idiom the annals of time, which means in recorded history. The word annal is a back-formation of the word annals, which is derived from the Latin term annales libri meaning yearly books.

Annual describes something that occurs once a year, such as an annual Christmas party, or something that lasts for one year, such as an annual magazine subscription. In gardening terminology, annual describes a plant with a life cycle that takes less than a year to complete, from germination to seed production. Bedding plants that must be replanted each spring are annual plants. Annual may be used as an adjective or a verb, it is derived from the Latin word annualis, meaning yearly.


Published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, scholars at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University used mathematical techniques to test the null hypothesis that the rate of mass shootings in Australia before and after the 1996 law reforms is unchanged. (Science Daily)

This year, the proverbial ides (middle) of March and the ascendant calends (first day) of April respectively share fateful and faithful chronology, predisposed predictions in the annals of time included at spring fortnight 2018. (The Western Star)

If gardening is your passion, you’ll want to be at the annual Pond Spring event, Miss Annie Wheeler’s Heirloom Plant Sale on Saturday, March 31 at 9:00 am. (The Moulton Advertiser)