According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, The word Biweekly is a noun as well as adjective (and even an adverb!).

I did intense research on internet but could not find answers to below questions:


  1. Is 'biweekly' an adjective of the noun 'biweekly' itself?
  2. What are such nouns called which are the adjectives of themselves?
  3. How will biweekly be used in following sentence: "I propose biweekly newsletter to be published ______" (one word for "Twice a week"-biweekly?, but it sounds weird)
  • 1
    The word is a derivation of the adjective weekly with the productive prefix bi. Simple as that. Also, you could say "I propose a biweekly newsletter" or "I propose a newsletter be published biweekly", either is fine and the word has the same meaning and role in each, but it's redundant (though grammatical) to say "I propose a biweekly newspaper be published biweekly"; what information is the extra "biweekly" adding for your audience?
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 12, 2016 at 12:01
  • 1
    A biweekly is published only biweekly. (The only problem is that biweekly can mean either every two weeks or twice a week. The only way to resolve this is to know how often a specific biweekly is published, and this can usually be found out on each edition.) A weekly is published weekly. A daily is published daily. Except I guess there could be 'special editions', but they would be labeled as such. Dec 12, 2016 at 12:15
  • Biweekly is used to describe publications that are published both twice a week and publications that are published every two weeks. There is no 'one-word' that means a twice-a-week biweekly. That one word is biweekly. You just have to live with the ambiguity. It's the same for bimonthly. It can be irritating, but that's the way it goes. Dec 12, 2016 at 12:20
  • 4
    People need to get over this ambiguity and learn what is correct. Biweekly, every two weeks; semi-weekly, twice a week.
    – Unrelated
    Dec 12, 2016 at 13:30
  • 1
    I am pleased to report that biweek is a week set aside to celebrate bisexuality.
    – deadrat
    Dec 12, 2016 at 17:13

1 Answer 1



Biweekly is, in your terms, more likely to be a "noun of the adjective".

Generally, creating new words from other words is called derivation. Creating a new word by changing the word class of a word without any change in spelling specifically is called conversion. Creating a new word by attaching something to another word is called (derivational) affixation.

The two most likely orders of derivation are:

(a) week (n.) -> weekly (adj./adv.) -> biweekly (adj./adv.) -> biweekly (n.)

(b) week (n.) -> weekly (adj./adv.) -> weekly (n.) -> biweekly (n.)

Determining the order of derivation can be somewhat tricky, and giving a definitive answer is often impossible. However, it is generally assumed that more semantically complex lexemes are derived from the more simple ones.

Thus, the noun weekly ('something that appears weekly') was likely derived from the adjective/adverb weekly ('once a week'), as the former contains the latter in its meaning. Also, the result of attaching the suffix -ly is standardly an adjective or adverb, so going from week as a noun straight to weekly as a noun seems highly unlikely.

Therefore, biweekly is either the result of (a) conversion from biweekly (adj./adv.) or (b) affixation of bi- to weekly (n.). However, it's almost impossible to know which one it is.

Source: BA degree in English language & linguistics


There is no specific term for nouns that are also used as adjectives, or the other way around. The process by which one word is derived from the other, however, is called conversion, as mentioned above.


As pointed out in the comments to your question, either I propose a biweekly newsletter or I propose a newsletter to be published biweekly are fine. To avoid any confusion whether biweekly means twice a week or every two weeks, I would however suggest being maximally clear and saying I propose a newsletter to be published twice a week.

  • 3
    Now that's a solid EL&U answer. I award you the "best new contributor who gets it" hat. Wear it with pride. Also this +1.
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 13, 2016 at 17:39

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