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90s Slang You Should Know


[si-mes-ter] /sɪˈmɛs tər/
(in many educational institutions) a division constituting half of the regular academic year, lasting typically from 15 to 18 weeks.
(in German universities) a session, lasting about six months and including periods of recess.
Origin of semester
1820-30; < German < Latin sēmē(n)stris of six months duration < *sex-mēnstris, equivalent to sex six + mēns(is) month + -tris adj. suffix (perhaps representing an earlier *mens(i)-teros)
Related forms
semestral, semestrial
[si-mes-tree-uh l] /sɪˈmɛs tri əl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for semester
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They reach the highest point in the ninth semester, with a gradual increase from the first.

    The High School Failures Francis P. Obrien
  • But we had so many new girls this semester that I could not get around sooner.

  • Hikwarismahan pa ang ikaduhang simistri, The second semester classes will still be on during Lent.

  • There were enough paintings there to last till the end of the semester.

    Beatrice Leigh at College Julia Augusta Schwartz
  • I had other uses for the semester twenty marks, unless he absolutely needed them.

    My Life Josiah Flynt
British Dictionary definitions for semester


(in some universities) either of two divisions of the academic year, ranging from 15 to 18 weeks
(in German universities) a session of six months
Derived Forms
semestral, adjective
Word Origin
C19: via German from Latin sēmestris half-yearly, from sex six + mensis a month
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 semester

1827, from German Semester "half-year course in a university," from Latin semestris, in cursus semestris "course of six months," from semestris, semenstris "of six months, lasting six months, half-yearly, semi-annual," from sex "six" (see six) + mensis "month" (see moon (n.)). Related: Semestral; semestrial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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