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

As of November 8, according to the outlet, there were more than 82,000 vets waiting on housing payments with the fall semester almost over, and hundreds of thousands of vets were affected by delays. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The VA’s latest issues paying student veterans their benefits, explained," 11 Dec. 2018 More than 82,000 veterans were still waiting for housing payments for the fall semester as of November 8, with some having lost housing as the result of non-payment. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "VA’s software so SNAFU’d that vets were made homeless waiting for benefits," 12 Nov. 2018 An operator of more than 100 schools, ITT closed down in September 2016, upsetting the educational plans of 8,000 students at the start of the fall semester. Peg Brickley, WSJ, "ITT Bankruptcy Trustee Sues Lenders, Department of Education," 10 Sep. 2018 Linscomb has said the school board likely will ask Montoya, 68, to remain for a period of time heading into the fall semester to ease the transition. Krista Torralva, San Antonio Express-News, "Judson ISD board names superintendent finalist," 13 June 2018 Two are enrolled in the program and living at the station, and the company is accepting applications for the fall semester. Colin Campbell,, "Pikesville volunteer firehouse gets $1.6 million renovation," 11 June 2018 The three-story, 272-bed Don & Mona Smith Hall is slated for completion by August 2019 in time for the fall semester at 3202 N. Ben Wilson St., next to University Commons student center and library that is under construction. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "University of Houston-Victoria breaks ground on new student residence hall," 8 June 2018 Biology, design, digital art/digital media, and environmental studies will also see courses and labs eliminated in the fall semester. Priscella Vega,, "Golden West College will shut student newspaper and cancel most journalism classes," 7 June 2018 The fall semester of your senior year is normally the busiest in your high school career. Gerald Bradshaw, Post-Tribune, "Summer is a key time for research on what college to attend," 7 June 2018

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

12 Mar 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

Comments on semester

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to corrupt or become corrupted

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