[ sem-ee-muhnth-lee, sem-ahy- ]
/ ˌsɛm iˈmʌnθ li, ˌsɛm aɪ- /
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made, occurring, done, or published twice a month.
noun, plural sem·i·month·lies.
something occurring every half month or twice a month.
a semimonthly publication.
twice a month: We went semimonthly to see her.
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Origin of semimonthly

First recorded in 1855–60; semi- + monthly

words often confused with semimonthly

See bi-1.


bimonthly, biweekly, semimonthly (see confusables note at bi-1)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does semimonthly mean?

Semimonthly means twice a month.

It can be used this way as an adjective, as in a semimonthly meeting, or an adverb, as in We plan to meet semimonthly. 

The word bimonthly is a synonym, but it can also mean once every two months. Although semimonthly is typically only used to mean twice a month—not every two months—it can still be confusing. The best (and maybe only) way to be perfectly clear is to just say “twice a month.”

Semimonthly can also be used as a noun referring to a semimonthly event or a publication that’s published twice a month (as opposed to a weekly or daily, for example).

Example: Let’s plan to meet semimonthly, on the first and third Monday.

Where does semimonthly come from?

The first records of the word semimonthly come from the late 1850s. The suffix -ly, which usually forms adverbs, is used in semimonthly to mean “every.” It’s used in the same way in several other units of time, including hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly. The prefix semi- means “half” and is used similarly in the word semiannual, meaning “twice a year” or “lasting half of the year.” However, semimonthly is never used to mean “lasting half of the month” (though some semimonthly meetings may seem like they do).

Different prefixes can be added to monthly to indicate a different period of time, such as in bimonthly and trimonthly (every three months or three times a month). When intended to mean “twice a month,” bimonthly is sometimes replaced with semimonthly for clarity, but this might not help, especially since semimonthly is much less common.

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What are some other forms related to semimonthly?

  • semimonthlies (plural noun)

What are some synonyms for semimonthly?

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


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

How is semimonthly used in real life?

Semimonthly is not as commonly used as bimonthly. To avoid confusion, it’s probably best to just say “twice a month.”



Try using semimonthly!

Is semimonthly used correctly in the following sentence?

The magazine will transition from being a semimonthly to a quarterly.

How to use semimonthly in a sentence