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[sem-ee-ar-id, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm iˈær ɪd, ˌsɛm aɪ-/
adjective, (of a region, land, etc.)
characterized by very little annual rainfall, usually from 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 cm):
the struggle to raise vegetables in semiarid regions.
Origin of semiarid
1895-1900, Americanism; semi- + arid
Related forms
[sem-ee-uh-rid-i-tee, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm i əˈrɪd ɪ ti, ˌsɛm aɪ-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for semiarid
  • Arid and semiarid climates can occur when warm, moist air is blocked by mountains.
  • There are a large number of plants that do well in our semiarid climate with little or no supplemental irrigation.
  • Modeling of full and limited irrigation scenarios for corn in a semiarid environment.
  • Arid and semiarid lands respond swiftly and dramatically to changes in climate.
  • Although semiarid plant density is low, the global area of similar semiarid biome complexes is large.
  • Measured sediment yield rates from semiarid rangeland watersheds.
British Dictionary definitions for semiarid


characterized by scanty rainfall and scrubby vegetation, often occurring in continental interiors: the semiarid regions of Australia
Derived Forms
semiaridity, noun
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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semiarid in Science
Having low precipitation but able to support grassland and scrubby vegetation. Steppes have semiarid climates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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