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.

  • Could you give the sentence you intend to use this in? – Andrew Leach Sep 14 '12 at 9:09
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    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
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    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. – I'm with Monica Sep 14 '12 at 10:58
  • @AlexanderKosubek Depending on context, -ly can serve as the recurring form (daily, monthly, 6-monthly, etc). – Lawrence Feb 22 '18 at 7:38
  • @Lawrence Yes, that's why it is an issue. Context is needed, the information is not encoded in the word itself. – I'm with Monica Feb 22 '18 at 7:41

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.

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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.

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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

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    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".

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You could use the word "a semester", I don't know if it goes well with what you are writting but for me that's a period of 6 months

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