semi·​fi·​nal | \ ˌse-mē-ˈfī-nᵊl How to pronounce semifinal (audio) , ˌse-ˌmī-, -mi-\

Definition of semifinal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being next to the last in an elimination tournament
2 : of or participating in a semifinal


semi·​fi·​nal | \ ˈse-mē-ˌfī-nᵊl How to pronounce semifinal (audio) , ˈse-ˌmī-, -mi-\

Definition of semifinal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a semifinal match
2 : a semifinal round

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Other Words from semifinal


semifinalist \ ˌse-​mē-​ˈfī-​nᵊl-​ist How to pronounce semifinalist (audio) , ˌse-​ˌmī-​ , -​mi-​ \ noun

Examples of semifinal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Croatia, the first team in 28 years to come from behind to win a World Cup semifinal match, will play France for the title on Sunday in its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation in 1991. Ronald Blum,, "Croatia upend England in extra time to reach their first-ever World Cup final," 11 July 2018 Buy Photo Archbishop Carroll, Bensalem, Council Rock North, La Salle and Marple Newtown are scheduled to play in PIAA state semifinal baseball games on Monday. Rick O'brien,, "Five baseball teams set for Monday's PIAA state semifinals," 9 June 2018 Taking advantage of 14 returning varsity players from last year’s squad that came within two goals of advancing to the region finals, Bishop Moore has stormed to an 18-2 record and the first state semifinal berth in program history., "Bishop Moore vies for state lacrosse title," 10 May 2018 This was the third consecutive state semifinal appearance for the Bulldogs and despite injuries to South Broward’s best player, Emma Leto, the Bulldogs were able to keep the game tied early into the second quarter before Hialeah took control. Steve Evans,, "South Broward boys get huge fourth quarter from Alexander-Jones to make final, while Bulldogs girls fall in semifinal," 5 May 2018 Freshman Bradley Amor went a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles in the two matches for the Sea Kings, who will play in a consolation semifinal Saturday at 8 a.m. at University High. Daily Pilot Staff,, "High school roundup: Newport Harbor wins second straight league baseball game," 24 Mar. 2018 This clip was captured after the team's semifinal victory, but honestly, women supporting women is always a win. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Why University of Notre Dame Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw Says She'll Only Hire Women," 6 Apr. 2019 Federer dominated a semifinal battle of the ages, beating 19-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4. Steven Wine, The Seattle Times, "Federer, defending champ Isner to meet in Miami Open final," 30 Mar. 2019 After two straight years of flaming out in the first round of the playoffs, the Storm makes its first semifinal appearance since winning its second franchise title in 2010. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Storm among favorites, but certainly no shoo-in for WNBA title," 20 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, already through on Wednesday, will have benefited from two days off ahead of their blockbuster semifinal Friday. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "French Open: Rain keeps Djokovic, Halep off court in wet Paris," 5 June 2019 Ronaldo opened the scoring for Portugal in its UEFA Nations League semifinal vs. Switzerland, scoring on a long-range free kick in the 25th minute in Porto. Avi Creditor,, "Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo Scores on Free Kick in Nations League Semifinals," 5 June 2019 Spurs had lost the first leg of their semifinal against Ajax 1-0 in London. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Tottenham Stuns Ajax to Advance to Champions League Final," 8 May 2019 Her resolve was especially evident in her semifinal against Venus Williams, which Stephens won, 6–1, 0–6, 7–5. Louisa Thomas, Vogue, "Can Sloane Stephens Repeat her US Open Triumph?," 16 Aug. 2018 First, its semifinal came a day earlier, outlasting Belgium on Tuesday before putting its feet up for an additional 24 hours. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "How the World Cup final between France and Croatia will be won," 13 July 2018 While Federer was waiting to play his semifinal against No. Chris Chase, For The Win, "Was Roger Federer's Wimbledon collapse the worst of his career? Ranking his five biggest losses.," 11 July 2018 Twenty years later, Batinic was one of many Croats crammed into the St. John’s basement bar and bowling alley to watch Croatia move onto their first World Cup semifinal since 1998. Shaun Goodwin, kansascity, "A small Kansas City bar plays host to generations of Croatian soccer fans," 7 July 2018 Now England is one win away from its first World Cup semifinal since 1990. Jonathan Tannenwald,, "World Cup schedule, TV and streaming info: England-Sweden, Russia-Croatia," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'semifinal.' 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 semifinal


1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for semifinal

Last Updated

25 May 2019

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Time Traveler for semifinal

The first known use of semifinal was in 1884

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More Definitions for semifinal



English Language Learners Definition of semifinal

: either one of two matches, games, or contests to decide which people or teams will be in the final part of a competition (such as a series of races or a tennis tournament)


semi·​fi·​nal | \ ˈse-mi-ˌfī-nᵊl How to pronounce semifinal (audio) \

Kids Definition of semifinal

: a match or game coming before the final round in a tournament

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More from Merriam-Webster on semifinal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with semifinal

Spanish Central: Translation of semifinal

Nglish: Translation of semifinal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of semifinal for Arabic Speakers

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