American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A mark of punctuation ( ; ) used to connect independent clauses and indicating a closer relationship between the clauses than a period does.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In grammar and punctuation, the point (;). It is used to mark a division of a sentence somewhat more independent than that marked by a comma. (See
punctuation.) In old books a mark like the semicolon was often used as a mark of abbreviation, being in fact another form of the abbreviative character ȝ, z, in oz., viz., etc.: thus, “Senatus populusq; Romani”; and in Greek the semicolon mark (;) is the point of interrogation.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The punctuation mark [;] indicating a separation between parts or members of a sentence more distinct than that marked by a comma.
- n. a punctuation mark (`;') used to connect independent clauses; indicates a closer relation than does a period
“This semicolon is your own, personal Manzikert:; pseudonymous in nc says:”
“The most common way to use a semicolon is to connect two independent clauses.”
“Even the half-stop of a semicolon is too long a pause on the idea that they'll read your submission!”
“Some people think — or hope — the semicolon is dying off in American prose as well.”
“As punctuation marks go, the semicolon is much misunderstood.”
“The semicolon is also used in computer programming code (e.g. is HTML code for a type of space), but in this guise is rarely seen by the non-programming public.”
“A semicolon is a tool, and sometimes, it seems to me, it is the only tool for a job; it creates a pause that just feels ... right.”
“I would like a nickel for every time I left off the semicolon from the end of a programming statement, or forgot to have the proper number of brackets in a set of nested if/then loops.”
“Let’s concede from the start that everything after the semicolon is correct for the NRCC … as long as we concede that the bit about pressure is true for the DCCC, too.”
“The gross misuse of the semicolon is egregious enough, but the complete lack of coherence of his payoff sentence sends this post into a Rosie’s blog-level of incompetence. its stars like what’s his name ridicule the writers whose arguments he can’t quite grasp.”
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