Biannual versus Semiannual

What is the Difference Between Biannual and Semiannual?


When to Use Biannual

Biannual is an adjective that specifies the frequency of occurrence. Something that is biannual happens twice a year.

Here are a few example sentences,

  • Equinoxes are biannual; one happens in March and in September.
  • If birthdays were biannual, humans would age twice as fast.

    When to Use Semiannual

    Semiannual is also an adjective, and it also describes something that happens twice a year.

    Here are some examples,

  • The finance department undertakes a semiannual full audit of all company expenses.
  • Semiannual raises boost employee morale, but also eat up profits.

    When to Use Biennial

    A third adjective, biennial, describes something that occurs every other year. This term is often confused with biannual due to their similarity in spelling.

    Here are some examples of biennial in a sentence,

  • The San Francisco Giants had to forgo their biennial trip to the World Series in 2016.

  • The biennial congressional elections in America often give the illusion of hope for the minority party.

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