Semi-Weekly vs Bi-Weekly: What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on August 26, 2023

Are you curious about the difference between 'semi-weekly' vs. 'bi-weekly?' If so, you are in luck!

Here is the short answer: 

  • 'Semi-weekly' is an adjective and adverb that means occurring twice a week and a noun for a semi-weekly publication. 
  • 'Bi-weekly' is an adjective and adverb that means every other week or twice a week, and a noun that means a bi-weekly publication. 

You use these terms in similar ways. However, it is critical to know what they mean because people often use these words to describe pay schedules and publication dates.

So, keep reading this guide with definitions, examples, and usage tips to gain a comprehensive understanding of both of these terms.

What is the Difference Between 'Semi-Weekly' vs. 'Bi-Weekly?'

'Semi-weekly' and 'bi-weekly' are both terms people use to describe recurring items, like paychecks, publications, reports, reviews, etc. So, it is critical that you know the difference between these terms.

  • The first word refers to something that happens twice a week.
  • The latter can mean twice per week, but it is more commonly used to refer to something that happens every other week.

One interesting thing to note is that when you receive pay on a 'bi-weekly' pay schedule, you get paid every other week. So, during months that have five weeks, you receive an additional check.

When and How to Use 'Semi-Weekly' vs. 'Bi-Weekly'

I explained the difference between these words, but knowing when and how to use each term can still be confusing.

So, here are some tips on when and how to use 'semi-weekly' vs. 'bi-weekly':

  • Use 'semi-weekly' to refer to something occurring two times per week.

For example, you could say:

I shouldn't have purchased this furniture on credit because I have to make semi-weekly payments. 

  • Use 'semi-weekly' as a noun for a publication or report printed twice a week.

As an example, I might say:

We are working on a semi-monthly that will contain tips for saving money and living within your means. 

  • Use 'bi-weekly' as an adjective or adverb to describe something that happens twice a week.

So, you might hear someone say:

We are going to meet bi-weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next three weeks to practice for the competition. 

  • Use 'bi-weekly' as an adjective or adverb to describe a noun or verb that happens every two weeks.

As an example, you might say:

We discuss everything that happened during the preceding two weeks at our bi-weekly sales meetings. 

  • Use 'bi-weekly' as a noun to refer to a publication that comes out every other week.

For example, you could say:

Check the HR Today bi-weekly to see if there are any tips on how to handle changes to the reporting laws.

Definition of 'Semi-Weekly': What Does 'Semi-Weekly' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of the adverb and adjective 'semi-weekly' is:

  • Occurring twice each week

It can also be a noun that means:

  • A publication printed twice each week

Synonyms and Similar Terms to 'Semi-Weekly'

  • Weekly
  • Daily
  • Quarterly
  • Annually
  • Biweekly
  • Bimonthly
  • Annual
  • Frequent
  • Recurring
  • Usual
  • Routine
  • Regular
  • Periodical
  • Serial
  • Perennial
  • Repeated
  • Magazine
  • Newspaper
  • Journal
  • Review
  • Report
  • Edition
  • Book
  • Tabloid
  • Tab
  • Slick
  • Pictorial

Definition of 'Bi-Weekly': What Does 'Bi-Weekly' Mean?

The same defines the adverb and adjective 'bi-weekly' as:

It can also mean:

  • Occurring twice a week

As a noun, 'bi-weekly' means:

  • A publication that comes out every other week

Synonyms and Similar Terms to 'Bi-Weekly'

  • Annual
  • Semi-weekly
  • Semi-monthly
  • Bi-monthly
  • Monthly
  • Periodical
  • Daily
  • Quarterly
  • Annual
  • Edition
  • Paper
  • Journal
  • Mag
  • Magazine
  • Digest
  • Slick
  • Bulletin
  • Pictorial
  • Rag
  • Extra
  • Sheet
  • Newsletter
  • Gazette
  • Serial
  • Report

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Semi-Weekly' vs. 'Bi-Weekly'

We've covered the differences, definitions, and when and how to use 'semi-weekly' vs. 'bi-weekly' but we have not looked at the pronunciations. Whether you are learning English as a second language or working on improving your writing skills, knowing how to pronounce terms gives you the confidence to use them when you are communicating.

So, here is a pronunciation guide you can refer to. 


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'bi-weekly':


Sample Sentences Using 'Semi-Weekly' vs. 'Bi-Weekly'

We are almost finished, but before you go, read these sample sentences. They will help you commit these terms to memory.


  • Semi-weekly is too often for most people in our group to attend meetings.
  • We have semi-weekly meetings with our boss in which we discuss where we stand on orders for the week.
  • If you pick up one of those semi-weekly magazines from the lobby, will you pick up a copy for me?
  • We are having a semi-weekly meeting this evening. I would love it if you came with me.
  • I was already on the fence about joining the group, but being told that the semi-weekly meetings are mandatory was the straw that broke the camel's back.


  • I go to visit my parents bi-weekly, usually on Friday evening.
  • I prefer to receive bi-weekly pay rather than semi-monthly checks.
  • Our company issues annuity payments bi-weekly. However, you also have the option of choosing semi-monthly or weekly payments.
  • Let's agree to meet bi-weekly on Saturday evening.
  • The date that you receive your bi-weekly check depends on whether you are using direct deposit or receiving a paper check.


  • Everyone is happier since we switched from semi-weekly to bi-weekly performance reviews.
  • Many companies pay their employees bi-weekly, but I have never heard of a company that pays semi-weekly.

Review: The Difference Between 'Semi-Weekly' vs. 'Bi-Weekly'

You learned a lot in this post, so let's do a quick review of the difference between 'semi-weekly' vs. 'bi-weekly':

  • 'Semi-weekly' is an adverb or adjective that means twice a week or a noun that means a semi-weekly publication. 
  • 'Bi-weekly' is an adverb or adjective that means occurring every other week or occurring twice a week, and as a noun, it means a bi-weekly publication. 

Hopefully, you will remember the difference between these words, but if you ever need to verify their meanings, you can always come back to this page to review this lesson.

You can also use this site to verify other terms' meanings or learn about other confusing words.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.