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[hem-ee] /ˈhɛm i/
noun, Automotive.
an internal-combustion engine having hemispherical combustion chambers.
Origin of hemi
shortening of hemi-head


a combining form meaning “half,” used in the formation of compound words:
< Greek hēmi- half; cognate with Latin sēmi- semi- Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hemi
Historical Examples
  • hemi” means “half,” so each half of the globe is called a “hemisphere.

    Where We Live Emilie Van Beil Jacobs
  • The whole is finally protected by a hemi 360spherical covering of moss, made into a sort of felt and lined with wax.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
  • Fine fighters hemi Nape and his boys, were and well they bore themselves, but alas!

  • Kauaka hei a hemi taku pu, let not my gun be in the possession of hemi.

    First Lessons in the Maori Language William Leonard Williams
British Dictionary definitions for hemi


half: hemicycle, hemisphere Compare demi- (sense 1), semi- (sense 1)
Word Origin
from Latin, from Greek hēmi-
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hemi


word-forming element meaning "half," from Greek hemi- "half," from PIE root *semi-, which is the source of Sanskrit sami, Latin semi- (see semi-), Old High German sami- "half," and Old English sam-, denoting a partial or imperfect condition (see sandblind).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hemi in Medicine

hemi- pref.
Half: hemicardia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hemi in Science
A prefix meaning "half," as in hemisphere, half a sphere.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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