Knowing the meaning of biweekly can help you out in countless ways with scheduling. Here is what it means and how you can use it!
There are countless tasks in our lives that we do regularly. Some things — like eating, sleeping, and doing work — are daily necessities for life. Some weekly chores might include getting gas for a car, posting on social media, or doing laundry. These regular events are a large part of what makes up our lives.
However, many things actually happen on a biweekly basis, whether we intend for them to or not. That’s why to word biweekly is so essential — it details a regular event that may not happen on the same periodic basis as many other kinds of events.
But the thing that makes this word so simultaneously exciting and confusing is that it actually has two generally accepted meanings. It’s one of those words where the context is one of the most essential parts of the word’s use.
Today, we’re covering the two meanings of biweekly, how to distinguish them, and ways to use them correctly.
What Does Biweekly Mean?
According to the dictionary of the English language, the word biweekly (baɪˈwiːklɪ) is an adjective or adverb that is used to describe an event that occurs twice a week or every two weeks. Anything that happens in that time period can be identified as biweekly.
When it comes to identifying which definition of biweekly is being used, it’s essential to clarify what the person is saying instead of just assuming. The word biweekly can create a fair amount of confusion because of its confusing double meaning.
In most cases, the word biweekly is used to describe things that happen every two weeks. For example, if you have a biweekly paycheck, that means you receive paychecks roughly every two weeks. If you are a borrower making biweekly payments to a lender, that means you are making payments approximately every fourteen days. This is a widespread pace for many different lenders and organizations when dealing with large numbers of consistent recurring payments.
The word biweekly may sometimes have a dash between the prefix bi and the rest of the word. Whether someone is describing a bi-weekly paycheck or biweekly payment plans, it’s essential to know that both are accepted forms of the word.
How To Distinguish Between the Different Meanings
One of the most popular ways to speak with more clarity when using this word is to switch the prefix bi with the prefix semi. This makes it much easier to know what the person is talking about. Semiweekly events always happen twice a week. While biweekly can technically and lexically mean two different things, semi-weekly only has one singular meaning.
For example, if you use the word semiweekly, you can be referring to something that happens every Monday and every Thursday. If you are in the UK and trying to schedule a semiweekly video call with your partners in Canada and New York, that meeting will happen twice a week.
On the other hand, something that is bi-weekly would be something that happens on a specific day every other week, like every other Saturday. If you are taking biweekly classes or have a biweekly meeting, the odds are good that it is happening every other week. A biweekly publication or biweekly magazine is released every other week.
How Is the Word Biweekly Different From Similar Words?
Many words detail an event that happens multiple times. For example, the term bi-monthly is generally used to describe something that happens every two months.
However, just like the word biweekly, a common misconception is that bimonthly is used to describe something that happens twice a month. While it may be technically less correct than the word semimonthly, it’s still something to keep your eyes out for.
There are also many similar words to biweekly, like biennial for intervals happening every two years or bi-hourly for breaks happening every second hour. Every time a word with the prefix bi- in front of it comes up, make sure to look at the usage notes to understand and use the word in the most accurate and precise way.
Example Sentences Using the Word Biweekly
Here are some great example sentences to help you understand biweekly more fully! Example sentences and good context always help you know a word better, so check these ones out!
- Instead of making one monthly payment, I split my payment into two biweekly payments!
- While my company could just pay me my entire annual salary in one go, I actually receive compensation in the form of biweekly paychecks.
- Many people try to release biweekly updates to keep their fans engaged in the music publishing world.
- It feels like I have a biweekly sad day, but at least I still tend to have two or so weeks of good days in between!
- Understanding the biweekly circulation of the counselors was critical when learning how to schedule my appointments.
If you want to learn more about using the English language properly, feel free to check out The Word Counter blog! We’re constantly putting up new content that can help you to understand not only what words you’re saying but why you’re saying them and where they come from! Our goal is to provide people with an invaluable resource and wealth of knowledge for speaking in the most educated way possible in the world today.
If you want to learn more about the intricacies of the English language, take a look around — we’re sure that you’ll learn something valuable!