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

While leading her team and helping the Americans advance to the semifinal round of the Women’s World Cup in France — taking place Tuesday against England — the striker has also found herself in hot water with President Donald Trump. Claudia Harmata,, "Everything to Know About Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. Women's National Team's Star Forward," 2 July 2019 Freedom defeated Miami Southwest 25-18, 29-27, 25-16 in the state championship match after posting a 3-1 against another South Florida power, Archbishop McCarthy, in the semifinal round. Buddy Collings,, "Freedom High state champs lead boys volleyball all-area," 13 June 2019 At the ensuing changeover, Thiem didn't whack a ball toward the stands, as Roger Federer memorably did during his semifinal loss to Nadal. Howard Fendrich,, "Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in 4 sets to win his 12th French Open title," 9 June 2019 At the ensuing changeover, Thiem didn't whack a ball toward the stands, as Roger Federer memorably did during his semifinal loss to Nadal. Howard Fendrich,, "Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem in four sets to win his 12th French Open, 18th career Grand Slam title," 9 June 2019 At the ensuing changeover, Thiem didn’t whack a ball toward the stands, as Roger Federer memorably did during his semifinal loss to Nadal. Howard Fendrich,, "Rafael Nadal continues mastery on the clay, wins 12th French Open title," 9 June 2019 The manner in which the previous six innings unfolded Saturday provided little foresight that Clear Springs would almost pull off a stunning comeback in its final at-bat in a Class 6A regional semifinal series against Cy-Fair. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Baseball playoffs: Clear Springs rallies but is ousted by Cy-Fair," 26 May 2018 The defending champions are coming off a five–game thrashing of the New Orleans Pelicans, while the Rockets dispatched the Utah Jazz in their semifinal series. Scooby Axson,, "How To Watch Warriors vs. Rockets Game 1: Live Stream, TV Channel," 14 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Haiti proved its group-stage triumphs weren't an accident and plowed forward to meet Mexico in the semifinals. Pat Brennan,, "FC Cincinnati bet big on the MLS SuperDraft. So far, it's been a smart gamble.," 3 July 2019 Sweden will take on the Netherlands in the semifinals at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Wednesday, July 3 at 12 p.m. PT at the Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France. Jamie Goldberg,, "Sweden vs. Netherlands in 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals: Live updates, TV Channel, how to watch online," 3 July 2019 The Warriors went 11-2 in 2018, knocking off defending champ Hoover in the semifinals before falling to Central-Phenix City in the championship game. Ben Thomas |,, "Thompson senior QB Sawyer Pate on following Taulia: Expectations won’t change," 3 July 2019 The Yanks gave a small taste of their bench strength in a 2-1 win over England in the semifinals in Lyon, France, on Tuesday. Frank Dell’apa,, "A closer look at how the US stopped England in the World Cup semifinals," 2 July 2019 Novotna had upset Martina Navratilova in the semifinals and held a 4-1 lead in the pivotal third set over the dominant Graf. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Ranking the 10 most iconic Wimbledon moments of the Open era," 1 July 2019 The team takes on England in the semifinals on Tuesday. Matt Mcnulty,, "Megan Rapinoe Accepts Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Invite to Visit House of Representatives," 29 June 2019 Barty beat Kenin in the quarterfinals and Amanda Anisimova in the semifinals. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams’s Coach Says She Is Pain Free. Watch Out, Wimbledon?," 29 June 2019 And speaking of the Women’s World Cup, the USWNT, after its 2-1 win over France on Friday, now plays England in the semifinals. Mike Bianchi,, "Magic absolutely, positively, definitely, doubtlessly must bring back Vooch! | Commentary," 28 June 2019

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

6 Jul 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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