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, 2012 at 9:09
  • 2
    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, 2012 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. Sep 14, 2012 at 10:58
  • @AlexanderKosubek Depending on context, -ly can serve as the recurring form (daily, monthly, 6-monthly, etc).
    – Lawrence
    Feb 22, 2018 at 7:38
  • @Lawrence Yes, that's why it is an issue. Context is needed, the information is not encoded in the word itself. Feb 22, 2018 at 7:41

5 Answers 5


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.


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.


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

  • 1
    All your answer does is add another word to the phrase that OP is wishing to shorten.
    – Souta
    Sep 14, 2012 at 18:07

You can try "six-month event".


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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