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

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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

The agreement -- announced Friday ensures that the Fiesta Bowl will host semifinal contests four times in the first 12 years of the football playoff. Doug Haller, azcentral, "Fiesta Bowl extends agreement with College Football Playoff through 2026," 13 July 2018 The oldest national team in the world played one of the youngest in a World Cup semifinal Wednesday. Kevin Baxter,, "Croatia advances to World Cup final with 2-1 win over England," 12 July 2018 In the aftermath of England’s World Cup semifinal exit to Croatia, the straightforward interpretation makes perfect sense. Jonathan Wilson,, "England's World Cup Run, Southgate Represent More for a Nation in Political Upheaval," 12 July 2018 And with England playing a World Cup semifinal Wednesday evening, the crowd inside No. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "At 33, John Isner Finds New Heights in the Wimbledon Semifinals," 11 July 2018 Garwo also led the Eagles last season to a semifinal finish in the PIAA Class 3A playoffs, the farthest the school had ever advanced. Staff,, "Conwell-Egan's Patrick Garwo commits to Boston College," 27 June 2018 Reagan soccer coach Frankie Whitlock asks for clarification from an official during girls UIL Class 5A state semifinal soccer action against West Plano in Georgetown on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Terrence Thomas, San Antonio Express-News, "Whitlock’s departure leaves legacy of family," 26 June 2018 But there's this whole reset thing come semifinal time intended to prevent a player's elimination from a final because of yellow card accumulation., "A Guide to the World Cup When You Know Nothing About Soccer," 26 June 2018 Germany's Leon Goretzka scores during the Confederations Cup, semifinal soccer match between Germany and Mexico, at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, June 29, 2017. Michelle Kaufman, miamiherald, "2018 World Cup Fan Guide: Everything You Need to Know," 10 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Red Devils outlasted Loyola 8-5 in the state semifinals, then dispatched New Trier 13-3 on June 2 to claim the championship. Gregg Voss,, "Multi-sport athletes among reasons lacrosse is thriving in Chicago's west suburbs," 11 July 2018 Fields will long be remembered by Dr. Phillips fans for his first-play, 73-yard touchdown burst that set the tone and led to DP defeating Wekiva 28-7 in the state football semifinal. Chris Hays,, "Two-sport standout Brandon Fields of Dr. Phillips commits to South Carolina," 5 July 2018 This year, the Warriors won the South and outlasted Lexington, 3-2, in the state semifinals after falling to the Minutemen earlier in the year by the same score. Trevor Hass,, "Brookline, Weston capture tennis championships," 22 June 2018 While the team fell just short in a 2-1 loss to Westminster Christian in the state semifinals, the future looks bright for Foreman and the ThunderWolves as the team graduates just one senior from the roster. Wells Dusenbury,, "Palm Beach 6A-1A softball player of the year: Josie Foreman, Oxbridge Academy sophomore," 20 June 2018 The Red Raiders eventually lost to St. Joseph’s Prep in the state semifinals. Mike Owens,, "Big 33 Football Classic: Eight local players will suit up for Pa.," 14 June 2018 With Ruane leading the defense, Lemont kept eventual 2A state champion St. Francis scoreless for nearly 68 minutes before falling 2-0 in the state semifinals. Steve Millar, Daily Southtown, "Lemont's Mairead Ruane is the 2018 Daily Southtown Girls Soccer Player of the Year," 13 June 2018 Shannon, the Bullodgs' boys basketball coach, guided his team to the state semifinals with a 25-2 record, and he was selected to coach the Indiana All-Stars in the summer series against Kentucky. Gabe Hauari, The Courier-Journal, "New Albany's Jim Shannon named Courier Journal Southern Indiana Coach of the Year," 7 June 2018 Higley is making the move from 4A to 5A. Last year, Higley gave Scottsdale Saguaro its toughest game in the playoffs before losing in overtime in the state semifinals. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Casteel football taking a big leap of faith with first senior class," 31 May 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

26 Oct 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of semifinal

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

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