se·​mes·​ter | \ sə-ˈme-stər How to pronounce semester (audio) \

Definition of semester

1 : either of the two usually 18-week periods of instruction into which an academic year is often divided
2 : a period of six months

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Other Words from semester

semestral \ sə-​ˈme-​strəl How to pronounce semestral (audio) \ or semestrial \ sə-​ˈme-​strē-​əl How to pronounce semestrial (audio) \ adjective

Examples of semester in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This season, the students will finally wrap their final semester at law school — and naturally, the results will be deadly. Lynette Rice,, "How to Get Away With Murder to end after season 6 on ABC," 11 July 2019 The CalYOUTH study found that among those who enrolled in post-secondary education just 49.6 percent completed their first two semesters. Rob Waters, The Mercury News, "Graduating from college still a struggle for many California foster youth," 1 July 2019 The money will no doubt come in handy as Kurgat heads into her final semester in UAA’s nursing program. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Caroline Kurgat smashes Mayor’s half marathon record," 23 June 2019 That's how Nicolas Cuadra, an 18-year-old in San Antonio, Texas, started his classmates' day — each and every morning for his final semester of school at Ronald Reagan High. Fox News, "Texas high school student shines in viral 'good morning y'all' video," 18 June 2019 But after enjoying dinner with his family for his entire life in Southern California, and even at times during his freshman semester at nearby UCLA last fall, Amaya was uprooted from his familiar rituals. Patrick Brennan,, "FC Cincinnati's Frankie Amaya: Despite remarkable rise, home is never far from his mind," 14 June 2019 Razan had just made the dean’s list in her first semester at North Carolina State University. Time, "North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Killing 3 Muslim University Students," 12 June 2019 Back home after his first semester at Notre Dame, the young linebacker wanted to work out on Christmas night in 2017. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame's Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has all the attributes to be wrecking ball at rover," 7 June 2019 Second tier offenses, such as drug possession, robbery or unlawful entry, can result in removal for up to one full school semester., "New Orleans schools seek better discipline process as expulsions drop but suspensions rise," 27 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'semester.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of semester

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for semester

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

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Dictionary Entries near semester





semester hour



Statistics for semester

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for semester

The first known use of semester was in 1827

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More Definitions for semester



English Language Learners Definition of semester

US : one of two usually 18-week periods that make up an academic year at a school or college


se·​mes·​ter | \ sə-ˈme-stər How to pronounce semester (audio) \

Kids Definition of semester

: either of two terms that make up a school year

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More from Merriam-Webster on semester

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with semester

Spanish Central: Translation of semester

Nglish: Translation of semester for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of semester for Arabic Speakers

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