English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a word that means "a span of six months"? That is, I want to connote a stretch of time that lasts half a year, not an event that happens every six months.

share|improve this question
Could you give the sentence you intend to use this in? – Andrew Leach Sep 14 '12 at 9:09
That sounds like about a dozen fortnights. :^) I have to ask, though, what's wrong with, say, a six-month labor dispute, or a half-year labor dispute? – J.R. Sep 14 '12 at 9:41
Side note: In German we have the adjectives "halbjährig" for something lasting half a year and "halbjährlich" for something happening every half year. Its formed regularly, so "viertel-" for "quarter" can be used or the prefix can be omitted entirely for the full year. It also works with every other timespan (month, week, day, ...), always with "-lich" meaning recurrance and "-ig" meaning passed time. I'm really missing something like this in English. – Alexander Kosubek Sep 14 '12 at 10:58
up vote 7 down vote accepted

half year noun

1: one half of a year (as January to June or July to December)
2: one of two academic terms : semester

half–yearly adverb or adjective
Origin of half year: ME

See also:
'Half-year convention' is a principle of United States taxation law.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for this, I think it fixed my issue with this: english.stackexchange.com/q/105869/38613. I never knew this existed. I also accepted the answer biannually there too. I think half year makes sense and half-yearly (I guess it needs an hyphen) does it. – Steward Godwin Jornsen Mar 3 '13 at 13:03

The SAS (originally Statistical Analysis System) coins semiyear

( http://www.okstate.edu/sas/v8/saspdf/ets/chap3.pdf ), but this is hardly common usage.

Surely fmark takes pains to indicate that the adjective biannual (or, less ambiguous, semiannual) is not what he wants.

share|improve this answer

Use within.


  1. You should receive a reply within seven days.
  2. Two elections were held within the space of a year.

Reference: Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

share|improve this answer
All your answer does is add another word to the phrase that OP is wishing to shorten. – Souta Sep 14 '12 at 18:07

You can try "six-month event".

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.