a combining form appearing in loanwords from French meaning “half” (demilune ), “lesser” (demitasse ), or sometimes used with a pejorative sense (demimonde ); on this model, also prefixed to words of English origin (demigod ).

< French, combining form representing demi (adj.; also noun and adv.) < Vulgar Latin *dīmedius, for Latin dīmidius half, equivalent to dī- di-2 + medius middle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  hemi- Compare semi- half: demirelief
2.  of less than full size, status, or rank: demigod
[via French from Medieval Latin dīmedius, from Latin dīmīdius half, from dis- apart + medius middle]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., from O.Fr. demi "half," from L.L. dimedius, from L. dimidius, from dis- "apart" + medius "middle" (see medial).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

demi- pref.
Half: demilune.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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