Annus mirabilis

year of wonders; wonderful year.
Contemporary Examples

Yet the scenery for this annus mirabilis production has always been rather flimsy.
The Volgograd Bombings and the Return of Big Terror to Russia Michael Weiss January 1, 2014

It was an annus mirabilis for the hideous (Putin, Assad, Cyrus), an annus horribilis for just about everyone else.
The Year in Awful: Worst Columns of 2013 Michael Moynihan December 30, 2013

Historical Examples

For several years after annus mirabilis, Dryden produced but little poetry apart from his dramas.
The Age of Dryden Richard Garnett

So it really is not surprising that 1755 is an annus mirabilis to me.
Abigail Adams and Her Times Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards

This has been everywhere an ‘annus mirabilis’ for bad weather, and it continues here still.
The PG Edition of Chesterfield’s Letters to His Son The Earl of Chesterfield

The year 1814 was an annus mirabilis for England, as will be seen as it is unfolded.
Social England under the Regency, Vol. 1 (of 2) John Ashton.

Only in a single poem, that of the “annus mirabilis,” in 1671, had he given any true indications of his surpassing powers.
History of the English People, Volume VI (of 8) John Richard Green

THE growing crescendo of success has reached its climax in this, the most wonderful month of our annus mirabilis.
Mr. Punch’s History of the Great War Punch

The year 1801, the first of the nineteenth century, was annus mirabilis in the industrial history of mankind.
Twentieth Century Inventions George Sutherland

The annus mirabilis shows great command of expression, and a fine ear for heroic rhyme.
The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) Thomas Babington Macaulay

noun (pl) anni mirabiles (ˈænaɪ mɪˈræbɪliːz)
a year of wonders, catastrophes, or other notable events

a wonderful year
Word Origin


1667, Latin, literally “wonderful year, year of wonders,” title of a publication by Dryden, with reference to 1666, which was a year of calamities in London (plague, fire, war).
annus mirabilis [(an-uhs mi-rab-uh-lis)]

A Latin expression meaning “miraculous year.” The term refers to a year in which an unusual number of remarkable things occurred: “The Waste Land and Ulysses both appeared in 1922, the annus mirabilis of modern literature.”

Note: The reverse is an annus horribilus, or “terrible year.” Queen Elizabeth II used the term in 1992, referring to a major fire at Windsor Castle and the widely publicized marital problems of her family members.


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