Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lasting or living for two years.
  • adjective Happening every second year.
  • adjective Botany Having a life cycle that normally takes two growing seasons to complete.
  • noun An event that occurs every two years.
  • noun A plant that normally requires two seasons to complete its life cycle, growing usually as a rosette in the first season and producing flowers and fruits and then dying in the second season.
  • noun A perennial plant, such as the English daisy, cultivated as a biennial.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Happening or taking place once in two years: as, biennial games.
  • Continuing or lasting for two years; changed or renewed every two years: Said especially of plants.
  • noun A plant which requires two seasons of growth to produce its flowers and fruit, growing one year and flowering, fruiting, and dying the next.
  • noun An exercise, as a college examination, occurring once in two years. Sometimes also bisannual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Something which takes place or appears once in two years; esp. a biennial examination.
  • noun (Bot.) A plant which exists or lasts for two years.
  • adjective Happening, or taking place, once in two years.
  • adjective (Bot.) Continuing for two years, and then perishing, as plants which form roots and leaves the first year, and produce fruit the second.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Happening every two years.
  • adjective Lasting for two years.
  • noun A plant that requires two years to complete its life-cycle, germinating and growing in its first year, then producing its flowers and fruit in its second year, after which it usually dies.

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

  • adjective occurring every second year
  • adjective having a life cycle lasting two seasons
  • noun (botany) a plant having a life cycle that normally takes two seasons from germination to death to complete; flowering biennials usually bloom and fruit in the second season

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin biennium ("two-year period"), from bis ("two") + annus ("year").

Examples

  • Because of the insisted use of the term biennial, one of the more controversial and talked about aspects of the event is what role the visual arts would actually play in this event and how they would be presented.

    Leanne Goebel: Denver's Biennial of the Americas Comes Together

  • This year the roving biennial is being held in the southern Spain city of Murcia in an effort to engage the region's blend of Islamic, Judaic and Christian cultural influences.

    European Art Show Focuses on Muslim World

  • This year the roving biennial is being held in the southern Spain city of Murcia in an effort to engage the region's blend of Islamic, Judaic and Christian cultural influences.

    European Art Show Focuses on Muslim World

  • This year the roving biennial is being held in the southern Spain city of Murcia in an effort to engage the region's blend of Islamic, Judaic and Christian cultural influences.

    European Art Show Focuses on Muslim World

  • Third, if Dudley ever actually comes up with details on how he will fill the budget gap -- programs, savings with numbers adding up to the $2.25 billion or so long-term biennial deficit

    The Oregon Catalyst

  • The biennial is the Olympics of the contemporary art world, a century-old tradition in which countries send in their best artists to exhibit in pavilions and palazzos across the city.

    The Art World’s Olympics

  • The biennial is a welcome opportunity for regional artists to exhibit, and for the rest of us to see what they're doing.

    post-gazette.com - News

  • If the biennial is the art world's version of a barometer, the Whitney Biennial, now in its 75th year, is its touchstone.

    Forbes.com: News

  • If the biennial is the art world's version of a barometer, the Whitney Biennial, now in its 75th year, is its touchstone.

    Forbes.com: News

  • I am quickly approaching the deadline for another flight review (formerly known as the biennial flight review).

    My Flight Blog

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