Bi-Weekly Meaning: How long is Bi-Weekly? There are some ambiguities that come with describing periods of time in the English language that make knowing how long a period is rather confusing. Allow us to clarify how long a ‘Bi-Weekly’ means.
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As a noun, ‘Bi-Weekly’ can also mean:
As we can see, the definitions do nothing to clarify which version of the word — either every two weeks or twice a week — is correct, and that is because technically, they both are. So how do we know which is which? Let’s take a look at the background and origin of the word to understand it further.
In order to know what ‘Bi-Weekly’ means, you must first understand where it comes from. To do that, we first have to know what a prefix is.
The word ‘Bi-Weekly’ very obviously includes the prefix ‘bi-’ which is a Latin root and prefix meaning “two,” “twice,” and in some cases “both.”
Some examples of other words with this prefix include:
All of these words are rather straightforward.
So, while it is technically correct to say ‘Bi-Weekly’ when referring to something that happens both twice a week and every two weeks, you won’t necessarily be speaking as clearly as possible unless the people around you know the context.
So now we know the origin of the word as well as the meaning, but we are still working on how to clarify confusion. The key here is going to be context because that will give us a better idea of which definition is being used. Below you’ll find some example sentences using both definitions of ‘Bi-Weekly’ so you can see how they might function.
"Every two weeks”
"Twice a week”
Despite the usefulness of context, you may still need to clarify which version of the word ‘Bi-Weekly’ you are using. While this can be frustrating, it may prevent confusion while communicating and help avoid any scheduling mishaps. Thankfully, the definition of ‘Bi-Weekly’ provides us with some built-in alternatives.
Using the meaning ‘twice’ you can substitute ‘Bi-Weekly’ for “twice per week.” You could also say the more colloquial “twice-a-week” or “twice weekly,” which means the same thing.
Regardless of whether you’re using a longer substitution or the word ‘Bi-Weekly’ itself, it’s important to know how to actually say the word. Pronouncing words correctly is just as important in clarifying your meaning as context, so we want to make sure you have the tools to say ‘Bi-Weekly’ in a proper manner.
Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Bi-Weekly’ as a guide:
The English language relies heavily on prefixes to indicate our meaning and expand the vocabulary we already know how to use. While they are great for enhancing words, they can lead to some confusion, especially in the case of periods of time.
Want a recap? Here’s a quick review of what was covered:
Be sure to check out other articles on time, and read up on other confusing words that may have their own ambiguities. Be careful with context, and you’ll be a vocabulary expert in no time.