Etymology
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semicolon (n.)

alsosemi-colon, point used in punctuation, consisting of a dot above a comma, to mark a sentence somewhat more independent than that marked by a comma, 1640s, a hybrid coined from Latin-derived semi- + Greek-based colon (n.1). The mark itself was (and is) in Greek the point of interrogation. The semicolon butterfly (by 1841, American English) is so called for the silver mark on its wings. 

[T]he semicolon was a Latin delicacy which the obtuse English typographer resisted. So late as 1580 and 1590 treatises on orthography do not recognize any such innovation ; the Bible of 1592, though printed with appropriate accuracy, is without a semicolon ; but in 1633 its full rights are established by Charles Butler's English Grammar. ... [I]t is evident that Shakespeare could never have used the semicolon ; a circumstance which the profound George Chalmers mourns over, opining that semicolons would often have saved the poet from his commentators. [Isaac. D'Israeli, "Amenities of Literature," 1841]

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Definitions of semicolon

semicolon (n.)
a punctuation mark (`; ') used to connect independent clauses; indicates a closer relation than does a period;
From wordnet.princeton.edu