Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Annus Mirabilis

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is annus mirabilis. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Annus mirabilis means “a remarkable or notable year.”

// Devoted film buffs often argue over whether cinema’s annus mirabilis was 1932, 1967, or 1971, but most of the time they simply choose the year their favorite movie came out.


“In literature the response to the challenges and opportunities of the early 20th Century was Modernism—the rejection of traditional linear storytelling and the use of more challenging styles to reflect the new world—and its annus mirabilis is usually seen as 1922.” — John Self, BBC, 1 Feb. 2022

Did You Know?

To British poet John Dryden, the “year of wonders” was 1666. That was the year of a great British naval victory over the Dutch, as well as the date of the great London fire. When he titled his 1667 poetic review of 1666 and its events Annus Mirabilis, Dryden became one of the first writers to use that Latinate phrase in an otherwise English context. Annus mirabilis is a direct translation from New Latin, the form of Latin that has been used since the end of the medieval period especially in scientific descriptions and classification. The phrase is not particularly common, but it is used by writers and historians to denote any notably remarkable year.

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