Biweekly or Bi-Weekly?

The terms “biweekly” and “bi-weekly” often lead to confusion in writing. While these two compound words look nearly identical, they have distinct meanings and rules for usage. This article will clarify proper spelling and contexts for “biweekly” versus “bi-weekly”.

Key Takeaways

  • “Biweekly” is the accurate spelling whereas “bi-weekly” contains an unnecessary hyphen and is not a real compound word.
  • “Biweekly” can mean either twice per week or every two weeks depending on context.
  • Provide sufficient context around “biweekly” and consider using less ambiguous phrasing like “semiweekly” or “fortnightly” instead.

Biweekly: The Correct Spelling

“Biweekly” is the accurate spelling version. This compound word consists of two parts:

  • Bi-: A prefix meaning “two” or “twice”
  • Weekly: An adjective meaning “occurring once a week”

Joined together, “biweekly” translates to “occurring twice a week” or “every two weeks”.

Some key guidelines around spelling:

  • “Biweekly” is one word with NO hyphen
  • “Bi-weekly” with a hyphen is grammatically incorrect

Are you using Home Made or Homemade correctly? If not read this article.

When to Use Biweekly

“Biweekly” has two main definitions depending on context:

1. Occurring Twice a Week

Used as an adverb, “biweekly” means twice per week. For example:

  • The committee meets biweekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

2. Every Other Week

Used as an adjective, “biweekly” means happening once every two weeks. For example:

  • She receives a biweekly paycheck from her job.
  • The newsletter is published on a biweekly basis.

Avoiding Confusion Around Biweekly

Since “biweekly” has dual meanings, provide sufficient context to clarify which sense you intend:

  • Biweekly can mean “semiweekly” (twice a week). Instead, specify “twice per week”.
  • It can also mean “fortnightly” (every other week). Specify “once every two weeks” if needed.

Using unambiguous terms eliminates potential confusion.

Bi-Weekly: The Incorrect Version

“Bi-weekly” contains a hyphen, which is grammatically unnecessary.

This incorrect version likely arises from misguided attempts to “clarify” biweekly by separating the “bi” prefix from “weekly” with a hyphen.

However, adding this hyphen actually creates an nonstandard, illogical compound:

  • “Bi-“ remains a standalone prefix with no accompanying word or roots
  • “Weekly” serves as a separate adjective

Since these parts no longer form a logical compound phrase, “bi-weekly” is inaccurate.

Stick to the standard spelling of “biweekly” with no hyphen instead.

Examples of Proper Biweekly Usage

Here are some examples of “biweekly” used correctly:

  • The medical journal is a biweekly publication printed every two weeks.
  • The manager holds biweekly staff meetings on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • I get paid on a biweekly basis with paychecks every other Friday.

In these sentences, “biweekly” is properly spelled as one word with no hyphen. The surrounding context also clarifies which sense of biweekly applies.

Using “biweekly” correctly – with no hyphen and clear definition based on part of speech – resolves confusion and adheres to standard conventions of English grammar.


Adhering to these guidelines on proper spelling, definition, and usage will help address ambiguities around this term. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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