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

This clip was captured after the team's semifinal victory, but honestly, women supporting women is always a win. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Why University of Notre Dame Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw Says She'll Only Hire Women," 6 Apr. 2019 Federer dominated a semifinal battle of the ages, beating 19-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4. Steven Wine, The Seattle Times, "Federer, defending champ Isner to meet in Miami Open final," 30 Mar. 2019 After two straight years of flaming out in the first round of the playoffs, the Storm makes its first semifinal appearance since winning its second franchise title in 2010. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Storm among favorites, but certainly no shoo-in for WNBA title," 20 Aug. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The two-time MVP returned from a left knee injury for Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals, missing the entire first round as the Warriors eliminated the Spurs in five games. Janie Mccauley, The Seattle Times, "Fresh off loss at Golden State, Clippers return for playoffs," 13 Apr. 2019 The Crimson Tide scored the first 28 points in their playoff semifinal against Oklahoma, never allowed the lead to shrink to single digits and won, 45-34, to advance to the national championship game. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Alabama Beats Oklahoma, Will Face Clemson for College Football National Title," 30 Dec. 2018 England, which lost to Croatia in the semifinals, matched its best World Cup result — fourth in 1990 — since winning the tournament for the only time in 1966. James Ellingworth,, "Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0," 14 July 2018 The Blazers rallied to beat England in the semifinal, 2-1, with Mario Mandzukic scoring the deciding goal in extra time. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 Trump will arrive on the same day Belgium's national soccer team plays France in the World Cup semifinals, the first time Belgium has reached this stage of the tournament since 1986. Quentin Ariès, Washington Post, "When Trump arrives in Belgium, everyone will be cheering. But not for him.," 9 July 2018 In that sense, the World Cup has given us a glorious Tuesday semifinal: France versus Belgium. Bruce Jenkins,, "Best of the World Cup: when cultures mix," 6 July 2018 But when the Cavaliers take on Auburn in a national semifinal matchup on Saturday, Clark will be tasked with a job those stats don’t capture: slowing down the Tigers’ Jared Harper and Bryce Brown, the hottest backcourt duo in the nation. Jim Chairusmi, WSJ, "The Smallest Guy on the Court Plays a Big Role for Virginia," 5 Apr. 2019 This was the fifth Grand Slam semifinal featuring Djokovic and Nadal, with Nadal winning the first four (three French Opens and a Wimbledon). Sam Farmer,, "Djokovic Wins Another Marathon, Defeating Nadal In Wimbledon Semifinal," 14 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

27 Apr 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

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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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