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

  • adjective Of, relating to, or occurring in the spring.
  • adjective Characteristic of or resembling spring.
  • adjective Fresh and young; youthful.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The trade-name of diethylmalonvlurea, a colorless, crystalline powder, used in medicine as a soporific.
  • Of or pertaining to the spring; belonging to the spring; appearing in spring: as, vernal bloom.
  • Of or belonging to youth, the springtime of life.
  • In botany, appearing in spring: as, vernal flowers.
  • Done or accomplished in spring: as, the vernal migration or molt of birds

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to the spring; appearing in the spring.
  • adjective Fig.: Belonging to youth, the spring of life.
  • adjective (Astron.) the point of time in each year when the sun crosses the equator when proceeding northward, about March 21, when day and night are of approximately equal duration. The beginning of the Spring season.
  • adjective (Bot.) a low, soft grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), producing in the spring narrow spikelike panicles, and noted for the delicious fragrance which it gives to new-mown hay; -- also called sweet vernal grass. See Illust. in Appendix.
  • adjective (Astron.) the signs, Aries, Taurus, and Gemini, in which the sun appears between the vernal equinox and summer solstice.

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

  • adjective Young; fresh.
  • adjective Pertaining to spring.

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

  • adjective suggestive of youth; vigorous and fresh
  • adjective of or characteristic of or occurring in spring


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

[Latin vērnālis, from vērnus, from vēr, spring; see wesr̥ in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Entering English in the sense of “pertaining to spring” in 1534: From Latin vernālis ("of those things pertaining to the spring"), from vernus ("of spring"), from vēr ("spring"); compare Old French vernal, French vernal.


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  • Why vernal and autumnal, but wintry and summery?

    October 18, 2007

  • Well, there is the word estival. And probably something like hibernal as well.

    October 18, 2007

  • According to Wikipedia, fall came about later, probably due to "fall of the leaves". Vernal is Latin, and I'm not sure at what point "spring" took over.

    October 18, 2007

  • "It was the end of March, an unusually warm and beautiful day in early spring; though all the days now seemed lovely and warm, bathed as they were in the vernal glow of a dying century."

    The Glimmering by Elizabeth Hand

    December 3, 2007