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    #1

    biyearly - biannually or biennially

    Dictionaries say that "biyearly" means either "biannually (twice a year)" or "biennially (every two years)," probably depending on the context. In your everyday life, which meaning do you usually imply without no clear context?

    I have no clear evidence but it seems that Americans usually mean "twice a week" by "biweekly."

    Inase

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: biyearly - biannually or biennially

    Biennially means once every two years. Bianually means twice a year. Biyearly I have never run across in my seventy years. Context is your only hope of guessing what the benighted author meant.

    Biweekly means once every two weeks. Semi-weekly would in theory mean twice a week but is not in actual use, presumably because a week consists of an odd number of days.

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    #3

    Re: biyearly - biannually or biennially

    I have seen "bicentennial" but I haven't seen "biyearly" either. That doesn't mean it can't be used. I think readers would still understand.
    Last edited by andrewg927; 20-Jun-2017 at 18:25. Reason: fixing typo

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    #4

    Re: biyearly - biannually or biennially

    Quote Originally Posted by inase View Post
    Dictionaries say that "biyearly" means either "biannually (twice a year)" or "biennially (every two years)," probably depending on the context. In your everyday life, which meaning do you usually imply without no clear context?
    I never use them, preferring 'twice a year' or 'every two years' to ensure that I am not misunderstood. I am always unhappy when I see them, and do my best to confirm from context that the writer has used them correctly.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 20-Jun-2017 at 08:18.

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    #5

    Re: biyearly - biannually or biennially

    I will use them in restricted contexts, though biyearly is new to me, The problem is that they are very widely misunderstood, like a twofold increase, where there are differences in the way people calculate them.

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    #6

    Re: biyearly - biannually or biennially

    To me, "biweekly" would be every two weeks. Same with "biannually" being every other year. I would use "semi-annual" to refer to a twice-yearly event.

    Best to be explicit and not assume.

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