The Collins dictionary translates "bimensual" as

  • (= cada dos meses) "bimonthly", "two-monthly"
  • (= dos veces al mes) "fortnightly", "semimonthly (US)"

How can this be?
Is it 'cada dos meses' (6 times a year) or 'dos veces al mes' (24 times a year)?
Is there an error in the dictionary?

  • What sounds strange to you? The preffix "bi" referred to the number two, "mensual" is directly translated to "monthly". So, one time each two months... what's the problem?
    – Nox
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 10:45
  • Oh, ok, I didn't notice that. Yes, it's a tricky one but it's correct, a matter of context. In fact I think it's much more common to use it for the "6 times a year" meaning, but I'm not sure enough of it to put it in an answer.
    – Nox
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 11:22
  • 1
    Another example, trimensual and trimestral. Pay attention on the meaning of the ending -mestral in other examples such as cuatrimestral and semestral.
    – Jdamian
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 8:17
  • Seems many people confuse semiannual and biannual in the US as well. So I can understand such a mistake when most translation dictionaries seem to not receive quite the same attention as primary dictionaries. Perhaps it even can work in those different ways in different regions (I sure hope not!) Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 0:59

1 Answer 1


According to the DRAE there is no possible confusion:


De bi- y mensual.

  1. adj. Que se hace u ocurre dos veces al mes.


  1. adj. Que sucede o se repite cada bimestre.

So bimensual is just twice a month, and bimestral is once every two months.

You could also use


  1. adj. Que sucede o se repite cada quincena.

as a synonym-ish (there can be a slight difference) of bimensual.

  • 1
    That seems to be the case, yes.
    – Nox
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 16:32

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