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semester

[si-mes-ter] /sɪˈmɛs tər/
noun
1.
(in many educational institutions) a division constituting half of the regular academic year, lasting typically from 15 to 18 weeks.
2.
(in German universities) a session, lasting about six months and including periods of recess.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30; < German < Latin sēmē(n)stris of six months duration < *sex-mēnstris, equivalent to sex six + mēns(is) month + -tris adj. suffix (perhaps representing an earlier *mens(i)-teros)
Related forms
semestral, semestrial
[si-mes-tree-uh l] /sɪˈmɛs tri əl/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for semester
  • For many of us, another semester is right around the corner.
  • There is a two-day career-planning seminar in the first-year fall semester.
  • Not tested yet over a full semester but looks to be good.
  • He had already missed the start of the new semester.
  • The difficulty borrowing may deter them from attending school or prompt them to take a semester off.
  • On my campus we're in the middle of the second full week of the semester.
  • Part-time students generally study two subjects per semester.
  • And students can spend a semester letting this five-million-year-old treasure teach them about time and space.
  • Let's imagine a small department offering three courses for the semester.
  • These late-night eating rituals were a regular part of my week-and social schedule-until the end of the first semester.
British Dictionary definitions for semester

semester

/sɪˈmɛstə/
noun
1.
(in some universities) either of two divisions of the academic year, ranging from 15 to 18 weeks
2.
(in German universities) a session of six months
Derived Forms
semestral, adjective
Word Origin
C19: via German from Latin sēmestris half-yearly, from sex six + mensis a month
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
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Word Origin and History for semester
n.

1827, from German Semester "half-year course in a university," from Latin semestris, in cursus semestris "course of six months," from semestris, semenstris "of six months, lasting six months, half-yearly, semi-annual," from sex "six" (see six) + mensis "month" (see moon (n.)). Related: Semestral; semestrial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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