biennial (adj.) "lasting for two years" (1620s); "occurring every two years" (1750), from L. biennium "two-year period," from bi- (see BI- (Cf. bi-)) + annus "year" (see ANNUAL (Cf. annual)). The vowel change is "due to the Latin phonetic law according to which the unaccented and closed radical syllable of the second element of compounds, original -Дѓ- becomes -Д•-" [Klein]. The noun meaning "a biennial plant" is attested by 1770.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • biennial — bi‧en‧ni‧al [baɪˈeniəl] adjective happening once every two years: • the biennial report published by the BDDA compare biannual * * * biennial UK US /baɪˈeniəl/ adjective ► happening once every two years: »a biennial conference → …   Financial and business terms

  • Biennial — Bi*en ni*al, n. 1. Something which takes place or appears once in two years; esp. a biennial examination. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) A plant which exists or lasts for two years. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Biennial — Bi*en ni*al, a. [L. biennalis and biennis, fr. biennium a space of two years; bis twice + annus year. Cf. {Annual}.] 1. Happening, or taking place, once in two years; as, a biennial election. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) Continuing for two years, and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Biennial — may refer to:* an event that occurs every two years * a biennial plant, a plant which blooms in its second year * a biennale, an art exhibition held every two years ee also* anniversary (for all other Latin derived numerical names) * , an event… …   Wikipedia

  • biennial — ► ADJECTIVE 1) taking place every other year. Compare with BIANNUAL(Cf. ↑biannually). 2) (of a plant) taking two years to grow from seed to fruition and die. ► NOUN 1) a biennial plant. 2) an event celebrated or taking place every two years …   English terms dictionary

  • biennial — [bī en′ē əl] adj. [< L biennium, period of two years < bi , BI 1 + annus, year + AL] 1. happening every two years 2. lasting or living two years n. 1. a biennial event or occurrence 2 …   English World dictionary

  • biennial — *biannual, semiannual …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • biennial — see biannual …   Modern English usage

  • biennial — biennially, adv. /buy en ee euhl/, adj. 1. happening every two years: biennial games. 2. lasting or enduring for two years: a biennial life cycle. 3. Bot. completing its normal term of life in two years, flowering and fruiting the second year, as …   Universalium

  • biennial — [[t]baɪe̱niəl[/t]] biennials 1) ADJ: ADJ n A biennial event happens or is done once every two years. ...the biennial Commonwealth conference. 2) N COUNT A biennial is a plant that lives for two years. It flowers, produces seed, and dies in its… …   English dictionary

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