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"Biannual" and "semiannual" both mean "twice a year." "Biennial" means "every two years." Because of the possible confusion between "biannual" and "biennial," use "semiannual" when you want to describe something that occurs twice a year.
This tip both helps the reader understand the intent of the words, but also helps remember the spelling difference associated with the difference in meaning.
Thanks a lot for this. It has always been causing confusion among our team here.
Ha, just cited this site to my coworkers. We were engaged in rigorous debate whether our system was inspected biannually or semiannually.