Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The annually recurring date of a past event, especially one of historical, national, or personal importance: a wedding anniversary; the anniversary of the founding of Rome.
  • n. A celebration commemorating such a date.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Of a significant event, a day that is an exact number of years (to the day) since the event occurred. Often preceded by an ordinal number indicating the number of years that have elapsed since the event.
  • n. A day subsequent in time to a given event by some (especially significant) factor other than a year (especially as prefixed by the amount of time in question).
  • n. Such, where the event is a wedding.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Returning with the year, at a stated time; annual; yearly.
  • n. The annual return of the day on which any notable event took place, or is wont to be celebrated.
  • n. The day on which Mass is said yearly for the soul of a deceased person; the commemoration of some sacred event, as the dedication of a church or the consecration of a pope.
  • n. The celebration which takes place on an anniversary day.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Returning with the revolution of the year; annual; yearly: as, an anniversary feast.
  • In the University of Cambridge, commemoration-day, an occasion upon which degrees are conferred since the disuse of the acts. See act, n., 5.
  • n. The annually recurring date of some past event; more generally, a day set apart in each year for some commemorative observance; a day for the annual celebration of some notable event, public or private.
  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church, the yearly commemoration of the day of a person's death, by a mass offered for his soul, or such commemoration of his death daily for a year.
  • n. The act of celebrating a day on its annual recurrence; a yearly commemoration, or (rarely) something done or prepared for such commemoration.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the date on which an event occurred in some previous year (or the celebration of it)

Etymologies

Middle English anniversarie, from Medieval Latin (diēs) anniversāria, anniversary (day), from Latin, feminine of anniversārius, returning yearly : annus, year; see at- in Indo-European roots + versus, past participle of vertere, to turn; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin adjective anniversarius ("returning yearly"), from vertere ("to turn"), + annus ("year"). (Wiktionary)

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