(in many educational institutions) a division constituting half of the regular academic year, lasting typically from 15 to 18 weeks.
(in German universities) a session, lasting about six months and including periods of recess.

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)

semestral, semestrial [si-mes-tree-uhl] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
semester (sɪˈmɛstə)
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
[C19: via German from Latin sēmestris half-yearly, from sex six + mensis a month]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1827, from Ger. Semester, from L. semestris, in cursus semestris "course of six months," from semestris "of six months," from sex "six" + mensis "month."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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