I'm writing a scheduling program and need to show frequency options ranging from once a minute to once a year. Anything over an hour is pretty simple, but I'm looking a formal term for frequencies under an hour.

Every...   | Term
Year       | Annual
6 Months   | Semi Annual
3 Months   | Quarterly
1 Month    | Monthly
Week       | Weekly
Day        | Daily
Hour       | Hourly
30 Minutes | Semi Hourly (?)
15 Minutes | Quarter Hourly (?)
10 Minutes | Decminutely (?)
5 Minutes  | Pentminutely (?)
2 Minutes  | Biminutely (?)
Minute     | Minutely (?)

If anyone has an idea for a better SE forum that this should be posted on please let me know

  • 6
    Sorry, but I've never heard anything other than either "N times an hour" or "every N minutes". I suspect that if you try to invent a term you will just cause confusion.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 20:06
  • Why not invent your own terms? Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 1:22
  • Note that in your title, "frequencies less than an hour" is ambiguous. Do you mean "less frequent than once an hour" (the physicist's interpretation)? Or do you mean "recurring with a period shorter than an hour" (the colloquial interpretation)? It's clear from the question text that you mean the latter, in which case "frequencies shorter than an hour" would have been clearer. Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 7:19

3 Answers 3


There are the expressions half-hourly and quarter-hourly, but every 30/15/10/5/2 minutes is clearer and avoids misunderstandings.


I would definitely recommend sending this to the User Experience SE.

For clarity, I would consistently use the "every n units" format: "every year", "every 6 months", "every quarter", etc.

  • 2
    For times of one hour and above there is absolutely nothing wrong with hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, annually etc. But for times of less than an hour I would always say every n minutes.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 20:50
  • @WS2 Sure. I have had instances where I had to provide intervals that felt a little awkward as adverbs: semi-monthly, semi-annually, biennially, quinquennially. It can be a lot easier to program something like that if the format is consistent.
    – Paul Rowe
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:07

sorry I am so late! I just had the same problem as a translator. I guess the best solution is:

(my case) vitals monitored regularly, more frequently than once an hour or vitals monitored regularly, less frequently than once an hour.


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