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[sem-ee-an-yoo-uh l, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm iˈæn yu əl, ˌsɛm aɪ-/
occurring, done, or published every half year or twice a year; semiyearly.
lasting for half a year:
a semiannual plant.
Origin of semiannual
1785-95; semi- + annual
Related forms
semiannually, adverb
Can be confused
biannual, biennial, semiannual (see usage note at bi-)
Usage note
See bi-1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for semi-annual
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A triumphant "semi-annual examination" was held and Anne's pupils acquitted themselves splendidly.

    Anne Of Avonlea Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • These semi-annual sprees had been among the girl's earliest recollections.

    Prairie Flowers James B. Hendryx
  • The semi-annual public examination was to be held on Monday afternoon, the day before Christmas.

  • In the city they get "a sufficiency of food" and a "semi-annual distribution of clothing."

  • So Constance had proposed that there should be semi-annual reunions at her home for as many as could come.

    Dolly's College Experiences Mabel Cronise Jones
  • Skin lodges were used when traveling or upon the semi-annual hunt.

    Legends of The Kaw Carrie de Voe
British Dictionary definitions for semi-annual


occurring every half-year
lasting for half a year
Derived Forms
semiannually, adverb
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 semi-annual

also semiannual, 1775, from semi- + annual. Related: Semiannually.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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