This question is related to industry and manufacturing. I'm wondering if there is a word "semiproduct". We use it to describe a piece of material - for example steel sheet, pipe, elbow, dome, U-profile, … that could is not a product itself, but will be later used in the manufacturing process. But it's not raw material either, it's something in between.

Is there a better correct word that would collectively describe these things?

  • 1
    I wonder if you're asking because there is such a word in Slovak. We do have полуфабрикат in Russian. (^_^)
    – RegDwigнt
    Feb 2, 2011 at 10:25
  • 1
    yes, we have something like полуфабрикат. And I can read cyrillic :)
    – Axarydax
    Feb 2, 2011 at 10:58

6 Answers 6


There's no such word as semiproduct in normal English. Regardless of whether it is the finished product or not, a steel sheet is still a product; it has been produced from raw materials.

I would think 'component' would be more appropriate, but there are lots of industrial in-words, so as Tragicomic says, there's no reason you can't use semiproduct so long as your colleagues understand it.

  • @ElendilTheTall: The answer does sound better after the editing:)
    – Tragicomic
    Feb 2, 2011 at 11:10
  • 1
    Yes, it was a bit absolutist before! "No, you can never use it! You are banished!"
    – user3444
    Feb 2, 2011 at 11:30

The word you are asking for is semifinished or semiprocessed, which are adjectives; the nouns you would use are semifinished product, or semiprocessed product.


To tackle this from yet another angle for good measure, there is the word prefabrication, which refers to the process of producing "semiproducts" which are later assembled to the final product on site:

The most widely-used form of prefabrication in building and civil engineering is the use of prefabricated concrete and prefabricated steel sections in structures where a particular part or form is repeated many times. [...]

Prefabricated bridge elements and systems offer bridge designers and contractors significant advantages in terms of construction time, safety, environmental impact, constructibility, and cost. [... S]mall, commonly-used structures such as concrete pylons are in most cases prefabricated.

Radio towers for mobile phone and other services often consist of multiple prefabricated sections. Modern lattice towers and guyed masts are also commonly assembled of prefabricated elements.

Prefabrication has become widely used in the assembly of aircraft and spacecraft, with components such as wings and fuselage sections often being manufactured in different countries or states from the final assembly site.


One more possibility, depending on the nature of the material, would be "assembly" or even "sub-assembly", especially when such a thing can be serviced or replaced in isolation. A car, for instance, might have a fusebox assembly, which can be removed as a unit, or a fuel sensor sub-assembly, which includes not only the sensor itself but also the connecting wire, mounting bracket, tube, and screws.


If you're talking about production line, there is technical term called WIP (Work In Process). So you'd better simply call it WIP material or in process material, which means it's not finished yet.

About computer, there are many different things, if that's a piece of code that's called snippet. Also component and module are used.

Modules are like blocks of info and editable info that can be placed anywhere.

Components are parts of the functionality of the system. (Gallery, Address book and so on)

  • I think "Component" is best - this gets across the idea that (eg) a steel sheet can be used for many different things. "semiproduct" suggests that it can only be used for one thing (the 'product') and that it's half way along its journey to being part of that thing - that it's destined to be part of a washing machine for example. Jun 7, 2016 at 14:06

This may be usage that is specific to your industry, and if you call it a semiproduct and the people you work with understand it, it should be fine.

I've heard it called production material, which is different from raw material in that it is used in the production process but is not actually converted into a new and finished product.

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