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Alternative formsEdit

  • vernall (archaic, 16th–17th-century spelling)[1]


Entering English in the sense of “pertaining to spring” in 1534[2]: From Latin vernālis (of those things pertaining to the spring)[1][2][3][4], from vernus (of spring)[1][2][3][4], from vēr (spring)[1][2][3][4][5]; compare Old French vernal, French vernal.



vernal (comparative more vernal, superlative most vernal)

  1. Pertaining to spring.
    • 1794, Robert Southey, Wat Tyler:
      Look round: the vernal fields smile with new flowers,
      The budding orchard perfumes the soft breeze,
      And the green corn waves to the passing gale.
    • 1952, Norman Lewis, Golden Earth:
      On we went in this way, mile after mile, over hills and through valleys inundated with a frothing, vernal vegetation and filled with the odour of newly watered ferns in a glasshouse.
  2. Young; fresh. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. Belonging to youth.
    • Thomson
      when after the long vernal day of life
    • Keble
      And seems it hard thy vernal years / Few vernal joys can show?

Usage notesEdit

In everyday speech, used almost exclusively in the phrase vernal equinox; in other contexts, spring is used attributively, as in spring colors or spring flowers, and even vernal equinox is frequently replaced with spring equinox.


Coordinate termsEdit

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Related termsEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 vernal, a. (and n.)” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 vernal” listed in the Online Etymology Dictionary, © November 2001 Douglas Harper
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 vernal” listed in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 vernal” listed by Unabridged (v1·1)
  5. ^ vernal” listed in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition




vernal m or f (plural vernais, comparable)

  1. vernal (pertaining to spring)



From Latin vernālis.



vernal (plural vernales)

  1. vernal (pertaining to spring)
    Synonym: primaveral

Further readingEdit