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 semifinal (audio) , ˌse-​ˌmī-​ , -​mi-​ \ noun

Examples of semifinal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The possible semifinal matchups of Brush or Solon versus Hoover and Aurora versus Hoban are intriguing, but Hoban is the choice because of depth and variety of styles. cleveland, "Breaking down district action in the Division I girls basketball playoffs," 12 Feb. 2021 The younger Gibbs led a Destrehan defense to a Class 5A state runner-up finish as a junior and then back to the semifinal round of the playoffs as a senior. Chris Dabe,, "Destrehan linebacker Dylan Gibbs chooses ‘dream’ school LSU for preferred walk-on chance," 4 Feb. 2021 One student from each school made it to the semifinal round in December. Valeria Olivares, Dallas News, "‘We are all fighting for a better world,’ says the winner of MLK Jr. speech contest," 15 Jan. 2021 Mountain Brook, which won state championships in 1975 and ’76, has not advanced past the semifinal round since 1996. al, "Michael Sharpe leads Pinson Valley’s 27-10 rush past Mountain Brook," 27 Nov. 2020 Choate led the Bobcats to back-to-back FCS playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019, including advancing to the semifinal game in 2019. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Longhorns notebook: Blake Gideon comes home to Texas," 28 Jan. 2021 North Ridgeville is coming off a 2-8 season, but competes in a Southwestern Conference that churns out some of the state’s toughest Division II programs, including Avon coming off its fourth straight state semifinal appearance. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Bryan Morgan taking over as North Ridgeville football coach," 20 Jan. 2021 And while the top seeded team’s semifinal game against the No. 4 seed usually isn’t that close, the margin of victory is larger in the game between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams at 24.5 points. Laine Higgins, WSJ, "The Case Against Expanding the College Football Playoff," 1 Jan. 2021 Shemar James, Faith Academy, Jr., 6-2, 210 Helped the Rams to their first AHSAA semifinal appearance. Ben Thomas |, al, "Meet the 2020 All-Coastal Alabama Football Team," 25 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lake Highland will play a semifinal on Thursday morning at 10 against Region 1 champion Bishop Kenny (20-9) of Jacksonville. Steve Gorches,, "LHP, Wekiva, Master’s Academy, City of Life advance to girls basketball state final four," 19 Feb. 2021 Westervelt had 11 catches for 213 yards and six touchdowns in a 64-50 regional semifinal win over Mansfield Timberview to help Lovejoy reach the fourth round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "The Dallas Morning News’ 2020-21 all-area football teams: See full first- and second-teams for offense, defense," 4 Feb. 2021 At the end of last season, the Buckeyes lost to Clemson in a national semifinal. New York Times, "Was the College Football Season Worth It?," 30 Dec. 2020 Last year, the two quarterbacks faced off in a Fiesta Bowl national semifinal won by Clemson and Lawrence, 29-23. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, "Can Ohio State stop Trevor Lawrence and Clemson this time in Sugar Bowl?," 20 Dec. 2020 Alabama played a Cotton Bowl semifinal in the home of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2015 national title season. Michael Casagrande |, al, "Why Alabama’s playing Notre Dame in Arlington instead of New Orleans," 20 Dec. 2020 Except, the Rose Bowl is a semifinal for the College Football Playoff this season. oregonlive, "Canzano: Pac-12 football season racing to the finish one bad spot at a time," 6 Dec. 2020 Its opponent in next Sunday's semifinal will be either Mexico's Tigres or South Korea's Ulsan. Star Tribune, "Palmeiras beats Santos to win Copa Libertadores final," 30 Jan. 2021 The semifinal and final will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, bringing a new level of exposure to the league. Matt Porter,, "‘We’re ready to go.’ The Boston Pride embraces status as favorites in the NWHL’s Lake Placid tournament," 22 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for semifinal

Time Traveler

The first known use of semifinal was in 1884

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Statistics for semifinal

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Semifinal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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