se·​mes·​ter sə-ˈme-stər How to pronounce semester (audio)
: either of the two usually 18-week periods of instruction into which an academic year is often divided
: a period of six months
semestral adjective
or semestrial

Examples of semester in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Waukesha could apply for a grant because UW-Milwaukee at Waukesha recently announced the campus will close after the spring 2025 semester. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 1 Apr. 2024 But the school shared other facts about the class of 2028, which will begin studying in the fall semester at the campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Janet Lorin, Fortune, 30 Mar. 2024 Starting in the winter 2024 semester, all incoming students, except transfer students, will have to take the course in their first semester. Emi Tuyetnhi Tran, NBC News, 18 Mar. 2024 After that incident, Patch spent a semester studying in Spain, where his Spanish improved. Daniel Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 18 Mar. 2024 Under the bill, high school students would be required to complete one semester of a financial literacy class. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2024 Lona was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, and studied overseas at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, for a semester in 2009. Adam England, Peoplemag, 11 Mar. 2024 To be considered, students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0, with no failing classes in the preceding three semesters in English, reading, math, science or social studies. Bill Lukitsch, Kansas City Star, 8 Mar. 2024 Navigating the complexities of FIT, Thomas found herself at a crossroads during her fifth semester. Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 18 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'semester.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


German, from Latin semestris half-yearly, from sex six + mensis month — more at six, moon

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of semester was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near semester

Cite this Entry

“Semester.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


se·​mes·​ter sə-ˈmes-tər How to pronounce semester (audio)
: either of two terms of about 18 weeks each that make up a school year

More from Merriam-Webster on semester

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