• synonyms


[sem-ee-ar-id, sem-ahy-]
adjective (of a region, land, etc.)
  1. characterized by very little annual rainfall, usually from 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 cm): the struggle to raise vegetables in semiarid regions.
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Origin of semiarid

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; semi- + arid
Related formssem·i·a·rid·ity [sem-ee-uh-rid-i-tee, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm i əˈrɪd ɪ ti, ˌsɛm aɪ-/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for semiarid

Historical Examples

  • But the action of wind is most strikingly effective in desert and semiarid regions.


    William J. Miller

  • Because of its semiarid climate, the State has only 600 square miles of wooded area.

  • These animals are usually restricted to sandy soils in semiarid regions.

  • Most of the area in which T. ornata occurs is semiarid or arid.

  • Arid and extremely arid land are deserts, and semiarid grasslands generally are referred to as steppes.


    A. S. Walker

British Dictionary definitions for semiarid


  1. characterized by scanty rainfall and scrubby vegetation, often occurring in continental interiorsthe semiarid regions of Australia
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Derived Formssemiaridity, noun
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

semiarid in Science


  1. Having low precipitation but able to support grassland and scrubby vegetation. Steppes have semiarid climates.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.