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[sem-ee-an-yoo-uh l, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm iˈæn yu əl, ˌsɛm aɪ-/
occurring, done, or published every half year or twice a year; semiyearly.
lasting for half a year:
a semiannual plant.
Origin of semiannual
First recorded in 1785-95; semi- + annual
Related forms
semiannually, adverb
Can be confused
biannual, biennial, semiannual (see usage note at bi-)
Usage note
See bi-1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for semiannual
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No job about the farm was so much disliked by the farmer and his boys as the semiannual removal of the stove.

  • Mindful of the traditions of the elders, as the spring came on she commenced the semiannual operation of house-cleaning.

    Make or Break Oliver Optic
  • "I was merely quoting from the auditor's semiannual report, of which that is a summary," he said, indicating the folded paper.

    Empire Builders

    Francis Lynde
  • He has had steady two-quarts-a-day men, and men who were subject only to semiannual debauches.

    Smoking and Drinking James Parton
  • It holds semiannual meetings in connection with the National Association, but is not a department of said Association.

    History of Education Levi Seeley
  • But the day after Christmas he came to the office early to get his semiannual check and cash it.

    Sonnie-Boy's People James B. Connolly
  • Uncle speaks of the Louvre exactly as if it were the semiannual siege at the dentist's.

British Dictionary definitions for semiannual


occurring every half-year
lasting for half a year
Derived Forms
semiannually, adverb
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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