Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Halfway or partially free.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English *half-free, from Old English healffrēo ("half-free"), equivalent to half- +‎ free. Cognate with Dutch halfvrij ("half-free"), German halbfrei ("half-free").

Examples

  • Taney wrote for the SCOTUS majority that this was obviously incompatible with the Constitution, concluding that Lincoln was right — the nation could not endure half-slave and half-free, it DID have to become all one or all the other, and furthermore, that ‘no black man has any rights a white man need respect’.

    Matthew Yglesias » George Will’s Odd Aversion to Democracy

  • We need to recognise that we live in a half-free country, where we have freedom of speech at home but not at work; where people pride themselves on their freedom to criticise politicians, but dare not criticise their employers.

    Why omerta still suits the the City's mafiosi | Nick Cohen

  • They fought against all this desperately, did these black slaves in the West Indies, especially among the half-free artisans; they set up their ancient household gods, and when Toussaint and Cristophe founded their kingdom in Haiti, it was based on old African tribal ties and beneath it was the mother-idea.

    DARKWATER

  • Finally, the jack had opened to its full extent, the rail still only half-free from its ancient bonds.

    Scott Westerfeld: Uglies Quartet

  • It only lasted a few seconds—the dragon was half-free already.

    Enchanted Ivy

  • The Russian people, half devil and half child, are praised for having made "heroic progress" from a regime of peasant farmers and political terrorists to become a half-free, almost civilized country.

    David Bromwich: Georgia and the Push for Cold War

  • This nation can live no more half-insured, half-uninsured than it could have lived half-slave, half-free.

    Mark Thompson: Why I Sit-in for Health Care Justice

  • As Lincoln reiterated, the nation could not stand half-slave and half-free.

    Hillary: I'm Glad Obama Gave That Speech

  • That's how slaves and abolitionists resisted that wicked system and how a new president chartered a course to ensure we would not remain half-slave and half-free.

    CNN Transcript Feb 12, 2008

  • That's how slaves and abolitionists resisted an evil system and how a new president chartered a course to ensure that we would not remain half-slave and half-free.

    CNN Transcript Feb 19, 2008

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