Words related to demisemiquaver


word-forming element meaning "half, half-sized, partial," used in English from mid-14c., especially in technical terms from French, from Old French demi "half" (12c.), from Late Latin dimedius, from Latin dimidius "half, one-half," which contains the elements dis- "apart" (see dis-) + medius "in the middle, between; from the middle," as a noun "the middle;" from PIE root *medhyo- "middle." Formerly also demy-, and in early use often written as a separate word.


word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "half," also loosely, "part, partly; partial, almost; imperfect; twice," from Latin semi- "half" (before vowels often sem-, sometimes further reduced to se- before m-), from PIE *semi- "half" (source also of Sanskrit sami "half," Greek hēmi- "half," Old English sam-, Gothic sami- "half").

The Old English cognate, sam-, was used in such compounds as samhal "in poor health, weakly," literally "half-whole;" samsoden "half-cooked" ('half-sodden'), figuratively "stupid" (compare half-baked); samcucu "half-dead," etymologically "half-alive" (see quick (adj.)); and the lingering survivor, sandblind "dim-sighted" (q.v.).

The Latin element was common in formations from Late Latin, as in semi-gravis "half-drunk," semi-hora "half hour," semi-mortuus "half-dead," semi-nudus "half-naked," semi-vir "half-man, hermaphrodite."

The Latin-derived form in English has been active in forming native words since 15c. Semi-bousi "half-drunk" ('semi-boozy'), now obsolete, was among the earliest (c. 1400). As a noun, semi has variously been short for semi-detached house (by 1912), semi-trailer (by 1942), semi-final (by 1942).

quaver (n.)

1560s, in music, "an eighth-note," from quaver (v.). Sense of "a shake or trill in singing" is from 1610s; meaning "a tremble in the voice" is by 1748.


word-forming element meaning "sixty-fourth part," 1660s, a compound of semi- and demi-, both from Latin but unrelated etymologically. The compound prefix came to be used "vaguely in a diminutive sense" [OED]. Also compare demisemiquaver., and, of course, hemidemisemiquaver (1846), which also sometimes appears as semidemisemiquaver (by 1825).