# Is there a prefix that indicates that an event recurs four times a year?

"Semi-annually" describes an event that recurs every 6 months. Is there a similar term for an event that recurs every 3 months? (I'm guessing that "semi-semi-annually" isn't the correct answer.)

More importantly, is there a resource or table somewhere that I can use in the future to construct prefixes for other intervals shorter than a year?

• Note that if you wished to employ multiple prefixes the relevant analogy would be in music: quaver, semiquaver, demisemiquaver, hemidemisemiquaver. That is, you would not repeat semi- but add demi-. Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 18:03

This is not exactly a prefix but the word does indeed refer to an event that occurs four times a year. And the word is "Quarterly".

• This got you so many upboats?? why was i not here earlier?? sobs Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 15:45
• Blame George Edison. :P Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 15:48

More importantly, is there a resource or table somewhere that I can use in the future to construct prefixes for other intervals shorter than a year?

Not really, because commonly used ones are often exceptions to rules. However, you now have a good set:

• Annually (and the multiplicators)
• Bianually
• Quarterly
• Monthly (there should be a word for every two months)
• Fortnightly
• Weekly

...

Now you only have problems if you need to define every 6 weeks or suchlike.

• Sesquimonthly would be a close approximation for 6 weeks. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 14:43
• @zzzzBov - I think using that in normal conversation might prove interesting. There are words for a range of different periods, but whether they actually work in communication is another matter. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 15:25
• When the purpose is for unambiguous communication, "6 weeks" would obviously be the preferred descriptor. Not all language is meant to be unambiguous simple communication; poetry and music often choose words with a richer meaning. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 15:30
• There's potentially confusion around biannual; also consider semiannual. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 15:48
• @zzzzBov I am not saying that you are wrong, just that, as you point out, the aim is clear communication. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 16:55

If

quarterly

doesn't suffice,

tri-monthly

is probably closest in spirit to "semi-annually" (although I would prefer "biannual" to this anyway)

You should be able to construct such a table reasonably easily.

``````weekly           every week
bi-weekly        every two weeks
tri-weekly       every three weeks
monthly          every month
bi-monthly       every two months
tri-monthly      every three months
biannual         every six months
``````

etc.

• biweekly ( and monthly ) as well as tri- suffer from a confusion between meaning every two weeks, or twice a week. I would be very reluctant to use them. Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 15:27
• Why on earth would you correctly apply bi- and tri- all the way through, then botch it on biannual? Commented Oct 18, 2023 at 0:50

A smattering of people are using the term semibiannual online to designate one quarter of the year.