Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A period or term of six months; specifically, one of the half-year courses in German and many other Continental universities, and hence in some colleges in the United States: as, the summer and winter semesters.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A period of six months; especially, a term in a college or university which divides the year into two terms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Half of a school year (US) or academic year such as fall or spring semester.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun half a year; a period of 6 months
  • noun one of two divisions of an academic year

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[German, from Latin (cursus) sēmēstris, (cursus) sēmēnstris, (course) of six months : sē-, six (from sex; see s(w)eks in Indo-European roots) + mēnsis, month; see mē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From German Semester, from New Latin sēmestris (from sex ("six") + mēnsis ("month").

Examples

  • I have a lot of work instead of an impossible amount of work now, and on the upside my class this semester is awesome.

    2009 May « paper fruit

  • I have a lot of work instead of an impossible amount of work now, and on the upside my class this semester is awesome.

    update « paper fruit

  • Usually my freak/stress out time in the semester is at the * end*, not the beginning.

    Just briefly surfacing… « Compulsive Knitter

  • Usually my freak/stress out time in the semester is at the * end*, not the beginning.

    2007 September « Compulsive Knitter

  • Usually my freak/stress out time in the semester is at the * end*, not the beginning.

    2007 September 11 « Compulsive Knitter

  • Your arguments against spending 30 Grand so others as poorly informed as you can critique you are why I chose a brief-residency MFA program, where 10 days a semester we get together with other students and workshop, but the bulk of the semester is at home, getting feedback from an experienced mentor who is devoting attention to just your work.

    On MFAs

  • Only 62 day left for the semester to get over, maybe less if our semester is shortened because of the elections.

    Update « Sunayana’s Blog

  • And as the college semester is in full swing, campus counselors hear the term in the context of alcohol education and eating disorders.

    Beware Drunkorexia

  • The semester is over, or about over, in colleges and universities across the United States, and in the majority of those universities another set of rituals will be acted out.

    May « 2010 « L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – The Official Website

  • Instead I side with their parents, who must be stricken at the thought that not only will the kids be kicked out of school and thrown in the slammer but the tuition for first semester is probably not refundable.

    Enterprising chemistry majors at Georgetown

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