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[sem-i-sur-kuh l] /ˈsɛm ɪˌsɜr kəl/
Also called semicircumference
[sem-ee-ser-kuhm-fer-uh ns, -fruh ns, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm i sərˈkʌm fər əns, -frəns, ˌsɛm aɪ-/ (Show IPA)
. half of a circle; the arc from one end of a diameter to the other.
anything having or arranged in the form of a half of a circle.
Origin of semicircle
From the Latin word sēmicirculus, dating back to 1520-30. See semi-, circle
Related forms
[sem-i-sur-kyuh-ler] /ˌsɛm ɪˈsɜr kyə lər/ (Show IPA),
semicircularly, adverb
semicircularness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for semicircle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Outside the wide doors of the corridor the wheel-chairs were arranged in a semicircle.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Seated on the ground, in a semicircle, were half a dozen dejected prisoners.

  • He reached a chair placed in the focus of the gathering, which sat in a semicircle.

  • They stood in the middle of the semicircle, immediately facing the bishop.

    Victor's Triumph Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • The latter is laid out in a semicircle, and is crowned by cupolas and minarets.

    Hampstead and Marylebone Geraldine Edith Mitton
  • And at their foot the semicircle of a beach gleamed faintly, like an illusion.

    Youth Joseph Conrad
  • They lingered over the semicircle of bayonets and rested fondly on musket-racks.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • Coronula: a circle or semicircle of spines at the apex of the tibia.

British Dictionary definitions for semicircle


  1. one half of a circle
  2. half the circumference of a circle
anything having the shape or form of half a circle
Derived Forms
semicircular (ˌsɛmɪˈsɜːkjʊlə) adjective
semicircularly, 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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Word Origin and History for semicircle

1520s, from semi- + circle (n.) or else from Latin semicirculus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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