semiannual

[ sem-ee-an-yoo-uhl, sem-ahy- ]
/ ˌsɛm iˈæn yu əl, ˌsɛm aɪ- /

adjective

Also semiyearly . occurring, done, or published every half year or twice a year; biannual.
lasting for half a year: a semiannual plant.

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Origin of semiannual

First recorded in 1785–95; semi- + annual

words often confused with semiannual

See bi-1.

OTHER WORDS FROM semiannual

sem·i·an·nu·al·ly, adverb

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH semiannual

biannual, biennial, semiannual , semiyearly (see confusables note at bi-1)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does semiannual mean?

Semiannual means twice a year (or, technically, once every half a year).

The word semiyearly means the same thing as semiannual. The words biannual and biyearly can be synonyms of semiannual, but they can also mean once every two years (every other year).

Although semiannual is only used to mean twice a year—not every two years—it can still be confusing. The best (and maybe only) way to be perfectly clear is to just say “twice a year.”

It’s especially used to describe events, as in semiannual sale—a sale that happens twice a year.

Less commonly, semiannual can also mean lasting for half a year, as in To participate in the semiannual internship, you must be available for the full six months.

The adverb form of semiannual is semiannually.

Examples: The dentist recommends a checkup every six months, so I guess I have to make my semiannual appointment.

Where does semiannual come from?

The first records of the word semiannual come from the late 1700s. The prefix semi- means “half” and is used similarly in the word semiweekly (meaning “twice a week”) and semimonthly (meaning “twice a month”). Annual means “happening every year” or “once a year.”

People look forward to semiannual sales because they only come around every six months. Such sales are often held at around the same time every year, such as in March and September. However, just because an event is held semiannually doesn’t mean that occurrences have to be exactly six months apart.

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What are some other forms related to semiannual?

  • semiannually (adverb)

What are some synonyms for semiannual?

What are some words that share a root or word element with semiannual

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing semiannual?

How is semiannual used in real life?

Semiannual is especially associated with sales that happen twice a year. In general, to avoid confusion, it’s probably best to just say “twice a year.”

 

 

Try using semiannual!

Is semiannual used correctly in the following sentence?

The magazine will transition from a semiannual release schedule to a quarterly one.

Example sentences from the Web for semiannual

British Dictionary definitions for semiannual

semiannual
/ (ˌsɛmɪˈænjʊəl) /

adjective

occurring every half-year
lasting for half a year

Derived forms of semiannual

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