- (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
- (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
Word Origin for semester
Word Origin and History for semestrial
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.