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 four Open Division teams will have a bye to start the playoffs, then play a semifinal game and a final, followed by a bye before the start of the Southern California playoffs. John Maffei,, "Open Division football playoffs halved from eight to four teams," 23 May 2018 Unfortunately, the songwriter and beatboxer was eliminated in the semifinal round. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's Why 'The Voice' Frontrunner Dave Fenley Looks So Familiar," 31 Oct. 2018 Gonzaga will face Arizona in a semifinal game Tuesday. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Rui Hachimura scores 23 points as Gonzaga wins its Maui Invitational opener," 20 Nov. 2018 After Kieran Trippier opened the scoring in England’s World Cup semifinal match against Croatia, the 30,000-plus fans at London’s Hyde Park tossed so much beer into the air. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "England fans turned London's Hyde Park into the rowdiest beer shower," 11 July 2018 In a heartbreaking World Cup semifinal match, Croatia defeated England with a 2-1 extra-time victory, breaking British lads’ hearts and footballer Kyle Walker’s balls. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Behold, Some Heartbroken Lads Weeping After England’s World Cup Loss," 11 July 2018 After a 4-2 win over Plano Friday evening in a Class 6A semifinal game at Red & Charline McCombs Field, the Lady Eagles will get their first chance to play for a state title. Rob Tate, Houston Chronicle, "Atascocita softball advances to state title game," 1 June 2018 Nine area girls soccer teams will take part in region semifinal matches Friday. J.c. Carnahan,, "Girls soccer region semifinal schedule," 8 Feb. 2018 Earlier Friday, Conel pinned Northern Iowa's Jacob Holschlag in 2:48 of a consolation semifinal match. Mike Peticca,, "Kent State's Kyle Conel takes third at NCAA Wrestling Championships," 17 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In Singapore, after Wozniacki secured a place in the semifinals, Lee and Piotr met for a drink. Louisa Thomas, Vogue, "A Night Out With Caroline Wozniacki and David Lee, Sports’ Most Romantic Couple," 11 Dec. 2018 A day after Iran stunned the seven-time champion Indian men in the semifinals, the Iranians won the women's title with a 27-24 thriller over India on Friday. John Pye, Fox News, "Too bad for India as Iran wins Asian Games kabaddi gold," 24 Aug. 2018 The Voice fans were crushed when some of their favorite contenders went home after the semifinals, with only four of the eight artists moving on to the finals. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'The Voice' Fans Think MaKenzie Thomas Was Eliminated Because of a Typo," 12 Dec. 2018 On Candace Cameron Bure's social media accounts, the actress regrammed Carrie Ann's semifinals Instagram rant on her own page. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Fans Ready to Revolt After Monday's Shocking Elimination Results," 13 Nov. 2018 Reaching the Wimbledon semifinal is not a different feeling. Ann Killion,, "Serena Williams sees Wimbledon journey through lens of motherhood," 12 July 2018 If the same team wins both semifinal games, that team would advance to ArenaBowl XXXI. Jonas Shaffer,, "No. 2 seed Brigade open Arena Football League semifinal series at Philadelphia," 13 July 2018 France will play the winner of Wednesday's semifinal game between Croatia and England. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z are throwing a World Cup viewing party at their Paris concert," 11 July 2018 The semifinal games will be played Friday, as will the consolation bracket games. Chris Hays,, "Defending national champion Villanova, FSU headline Advocare Invitational at Disney," 11 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

2 Feb 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 \

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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