semi·fi·nal | \ ˌse-mē-ˈfī-nᵊl , 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 , ˈse-ˌmī- , -mi- \

Definition of semifinal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a semifinal match

2 : a semifinal round

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from semifinal


semifinalist \ˌse-mē-ˈfī-nᵊl-ist, ˌse-ˌmī-, -mi- \ noun

Examples of semifinal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Being able to move on to the semifinal round is moment of redemption for Smith. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Cy-Fair group helps make public speaking a passion for its members," 10 July 2018 In the final year before all teams make the switch to playing spring ball, the summer baseball playoffs begin for the last time with the regional semifinal round on Tuesday. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are the 5 things to watch for as the final WIAA summer baseball playoffs begin this week," 9 July 2018 The winner advances to the semifinal round at 12 p.m. J.c. Carnahan,, "Orlando Tampa Volleyball Academy 16 South team rallies to avoid upset," 27 June 2018 The playoffs are formatted as single-elimination, first round, quarterfinal and semifinal games. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Everything You Need To Know About The USL And Hartford's New Pro Soccer Team," 12 July 2018 Embiid was noticeably fatigued during key stretches this season, especially in the Eastern Conference semifinal series against Boston. Keith Pompey,, "For Sixers' Joel Embiid, a breakthrough summer ahead?," 18 May 2018 One of these teams will have the chance to play Russia for a World Cup semifinal berth! Victor Mather, New York Times, "Shootout Sunday: Croatia Follows Russia’s Lead and Wins on Penalty Kicks," 3 July 2018 Coach of the Year Scott Stocker, Madeira: Stocker led Madeira to its first 20-win season since 2014 and first state semifinal berth since 2011. James Weber,, "Announcing 2017-18 Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky high school Spring All-Stars," 29 June 2018 The top quarter head to the semifinal round at 10 a.m. Monday, with the final five advancing to the stepladder finals at 3 p.m. The pros will host a free youth clinic from 3-6 p.m. Sunday. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Armstrong: Pro bowling's stars, hosted by Sean Rash of Montgomery, coming out to Parkside Lanes," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

England makes it to its first semifinal in 28 years, hoping to get to its first final in 52 years, and then a goal by Croatia erases it all. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "France’s Ghosts Return for the World Cup," 14 July 2018 The Panthers have gone 70-14-1 with trips to the regional semifinals (2018) and regional final (2017). Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "HR Derby, all-star game at Wrigley Field next up for local star, potential No. 1 draft pick," 13 July 2018 The semifinals of the 2018 World Cup ended with England and Belgium in tears, France and Croatia in ecstasy, and with broadcasters across Europe enjoying record ratings. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "World Cup Semifinals Score Ratings Records in Europe," 12 July 2018 The young men with Team USA Illinois are scheduled to take on France at 8 a.m. July 17, Uruguay at 11:30 a.m. July 18 and Bangladesh at 11:30 a.m. July 19 for the chance to move into the semifinal rounds July 20. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Naperville athletes to share international stage at Special Olympics soccer competition," 12 July 2018 The French beat Belgium on Tuesday in the semifinals, while the Croats defeated England on Wednesday. James Ellingsworth,, "Belgium claims third place at World Cup," 14 July 2018 But perhaps feeling complacent after beating Germany in the semifinals, France flopped. Graham Dunbar,, "A Youthful France Faces Veteran-Laden Croatia For World Cup," 14 July 2018 But the story of the tournament came in the previous round, when Serena went head-to-head with Elena Dementieva for almost three hours in the semifinals. Julia Poe,, "A History of Serena Williams' Seven Wimbledon Titles," 12 July 2018 The Hornets finished third at USC, beating Harbor City Narbonne in pool play before losing to Narbonne in the semifinals. John Maffei,, "Talent and heart show in summer league passing tournaments," 12 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.

See More

First Known Use of semifinal


1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about semifinal

Statistics for semifinal

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for semifinal

The first known use of semifinal was in 1884

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of semifinal

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on semifinal

What made you want to look up semifinal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characteristic trappings or dress

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!