a combining form borrowed from Latin, meaning “half,” freely prefixed to English words of any origin, now sometimes with the senses “partially,” “incompletely,” “somewhat”: semiautomatic; semidetached; semimonthly; semisophisticated.
Cyclone, Typhoon, Hurricane: Are They All The Same?Hurricane travels a convoluted road through the Spanish furacão, back to the Mayan god Huracan, a deity of storms and fire.
Origin of semi-
Middle English < Latin sēmi-; cognate with Old English sōm-, sām- half (modern dial. sam-), Old High German sāmi-, Sanskrit sāmi-, Greek hēmi-; cf. sesqui-
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British Dictionary definitions for semi-
Word Origin for semi-
from Latin; compare Old English sōm-, sām- half, 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
Medicine definitions for semi-
Resembling or having some of the characteristics of:semilunar.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for semi-
A prefix that means half, (as in semicircle, half a circle) or partly, somewhat, less than fully, (as in semiconscious, partly conscious).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.