hemi, semi & demi

ROOT-WORDS are Prefixes HEMI, DEMI & SEMI meaning HALF. However, there is a difference in the interpretation which each one has of the word. When we say HEMIsphere we don’t really mean half of the sphere, we mean one side, right side or left side. When we say DEMI we mean less or not quite, as DEMImillionaire. When we say SEMI we mean partly, as SEMI civilized & SEMI barbarous. There is an amusing combination of the three in music - hemisemidemiquavers, short notes sung in trills.

1. Hemialgia : HEMI algia (hem i al’ ji a) n.

Pain on one side of the head

2. Hemilhedron : HEMI hedron (hem i bed’ ron) n.

A crystal having half of the usual number of faces

3. Hemiepilepsy : HEMI epilepsy (hem i ep’ i lep si) n.

Convulsions on one side only

4. Hemiplegia : HEMI plegia (hem i plee’ jee a) n.

Paralysis on one side only

5. Hemisphere : HEMI sphere (hem’ i sfir) n.

Half of the globe

6. Hemi dystrophy : HEMI dystrophy (hem i dis’ tro fi) n.

One half of body less developed than the other

7. Demimillionaire : DEMI millionaire (dem i mil’ yun are) n.

One having less than a million

8. Demivoice : DEMI voice (dem i vois) n.

Less than full voice

9. Demimonde : DEMI monde (dem’ ee mond) n.

A woman of doubtful reputation

10. Demitone : DEMI tone (dem i tone) n.

Halftone; semitone

11. Demisemitone : DEMI semitone (dem’ i sem i tone) n.


12. Demisuit : DEMI suit (dem’ i sute) n.

Half suit (dem’ i sute) n.

Half armor; not all parts protected

13. Demitasse : DEMI tasse (dem’ e etas) n.

A very small cup, usually for after dinner coffee

14. Semiautomatic : SEMI automatic (sem i ot o mat’ ic) adj.

Not completely automatic

15. Semicircle : SEMI circle (sem’ i sir k’l) n.

A half circle

16. Semi civilized : SEMI civilized (sem i siv’ i lized) adj.

Only partly civilized

17. Semi diapason : SEMI diapason (sem i die a pay’ zon) n.

A diminished octave

18. Semimonthly : SEMI monthly (sem i months’ lee) adj.

Twice in a month

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