semicolon

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noun semi·co·lon \ˈse-mē-ˌkō-lən, ˈse-ˌmī-, -mi-\

Definition of semicolon

  1. :  a punctuation mark; used chiefly in a coordinating function between major sentence elements (such as independent clauses of a compound sentence)

Recent Examples of semicolon from the Web

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

Did You Know?

The semicolon was introduced into modern type by an Italian printer around 1566. But since it's actually the same symbol as the ancient Greek question mark, it's older than the colon (:), which first appears around 1450. Don't mix the two up. A colon introduces something: usually a list, sometimes a statement. A semicolon separates two independent but related clauses; it may also replace the comma to separate items in a complicated list.

First Known Use of semicolon

1644


SEMICOLON Defined for English Language Learners

semicolon

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noun

Definition of semicolon for English Language Learners

  • : the punctuation mark ; that is used to separate major parts in a sentence and to separate items in a series if the items contain commas


SEMICOLON Defined for Kids

semicolon

play
noun semi·co·lon \ˈse-mi-ˌkō-lən\

Definition of semicolon for Students

  1. :  a punctuation mark ; that can be used to separate parts of a sentence which need clearer separation than would be shown by a comma, to separate main clauses which have no conjunction between, and to separate phrases and clauses containing commas


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