[ sem-ee-week-lee, sem-ahy- ]
/ ˌsɛm iˈwik li, ˌsɛm aɪ- /
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occurring, done, appearing, or published twice a week; biweekly: semiweekly visits.
noun, plural sem·i·week·lies.
a semiweekly publication.
twice a week: He traveled semiweekly to Detroit.
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of semiweekly

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; semi- + weekly

words often confused with semiweekly

See bi-1.


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


What does semiweekly mean?

Semiweekly means twice a week.

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

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

Semiweekly can also be used as a noun referring to a publication that’s published twice per week (as opposed to a weekly or daily, for example).

Example: Let’s plan to meet semiweekly, every Tuesday and Friday.

Where does semiweekly come from?

The first records of the word semiweekly come from the late 1700s. The suffix -ly, which usually forms adverbs, is used in semiweekly 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, semiweekly is never used to mean “lasting half of the week” (though some semiweekly meetings may seem like they do).

Different prefixes can be added to weekly to indicate a different period of time, such as in biweekly (every two weeks or twice a week) and triweekly (every three weeks or three times a week). When intended to mean “twice a week,” biweekly is sometimes replaced with semiweekly for clarity, but this might not help, especially since semiweekly is much less common.

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What are some other forms related to semiweekly?

  • semiweeklies (plural noun)

What are some synonyms for semiweekly?

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

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

How is semiweekly used in real life?

Semiweekly is not as commonly used as biweekly. To avoid confusion, it’s probably best to just say “twice a week.”



Try using semiweekly!

Is semiweekly used correctly in the following sentence?

We plan to publish semiweekly, on the first of every month.

How to use semiweekly in a sentence

  • No one had taken the trouble to follow Pop in his semiweekly excursions to the barren field.

    Tales From Bohemia|Robert Neilson Stephens