from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One of two equal parts that together constitute a whole.
  • n. One part approximately equal to the remaining part.
  • n. Informal A 50-cent piece.
  • n. Sports One of the two playing periods into which certain games are divided.
  • n. Sports A halfback.
  • n. Chiefly British A school term; a semester.
  • n. Half an hour: a half past one.
  • adj. Being one of two equal parts.
  • adj. Being approximately a half.
  • adj. Partial or incomplete: gave me a half smile.
  • adv. To the extent of exactly or nearly 50 percent: The tank is half empty.
  • adv. Not completely or sufficiently; partly: only half right.
  • idiom by half By a considerable extent.
  • idiom by half By an excessive amount: too clever by half.
  • idiom by halves In a reluctant manner; unenthusiastically.
  • idiom many One-and-a-half times more; 50 percent more.
  • idiom in half Into halves.
  • idiom not half Not at all: "Fancy housing? Not half likely, ma'am” ( Russell Baker).
  • idiom not the half of Only a fraction or a small part of.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Consisting of a moiety, or half (1/2, 50%).
  • adj. Consisting of some indefinite portion resembling a half; approximately a half, whether more or less; partial; imperfect.
  • adj. Having one parent (rather than two) in common.
  • adj. Related through one common grandparent or ancestor rather than two.
  • adj. Half an hour after the time given; half past.
  • adv. In two equal parts or to an equal degree; in some part approximating a half; partially; imperfectly
  • n. One of two equal parts into which anything may be divided, or considered as divided; — sometimes followed by of; as, a half of an apple.
  • n. Half of a standard measure; frequently used (UK) for half a pint of beer or cider.
  • n. The fraction obtained by dividing 1 by 2.
  • n. part; side; behalf
  • v. To halve.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Consisting of a moiety, or half
  • adj. Consisting of some indefinite portion resembling a half; approximately a half, whether more or less; partial; imperfect
  • adv. In an equal part or degree; in some part approximating a half; partially; imperfectly.
  • n. Part; side; behalf.
  • n. One of two equal parts into which anything may be divided, or considered as divided; -- sometimes followed by of.
  • transitive v. To halve. [Obs.] See halve.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Being one of two equal parts; consisting of a moiety: as, a half share in an enterprise; a half ticket in a lottery.
  • n. A side; a part.
  • n. Part; behalf; account; sake.
  • n. One of two equal parts of anything that is divisible, or that may be regarded as divisible; a moiety: usually not followed by of unless preceded by a qualifying word: as, half the miseries or pleasures of life; half a pound; half an orange; the half, one half, or the other half of an orange.
  • n. Among schoolboys in England, a session; the term between vacations: a contraction of half-year. Sometimes there are three “halves” in the year.
  • n. In foot-ball, a half-back. See back, n., 12.
  • To divide into halves; halve; hence, loosely, to separate into parts of any relative size.
  • In an equal part or degree; by half; hence, in part; to some extent: much used in composition, and often indefinite: as, half-baked; half-dead; half-educated; half-starved.
  • An erroneous form of haft.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. partial
  • n. one of two divisions into which some games or performances are divided: the two divisions are separated by an interval
  • adv. partially or to the extent of a half
  • adj. (of siblings) related through one parent only
  • adj. consisting of one of two equivalent parts in value or quantity
  • n. one of two equal parts of a divisible whole


Middle English, from Old English healf.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English healf ('half'); as a noun, 'half', 'side', 'part'; akin to Old Saxon, Old Friesian, and Dutch half, German halb, Swedish half, Danish halv, Icelandic hálfur and Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌻𐌱𐍃 (halbs). Compare halve, behalf. (Wiktionary)


  • Yes Fr Guy's leaving his up until the Baptism of Our Lord..ours are half up..half down!


  • 'Only half so good, Mr. Kirke,' rejoined the black, showing a set of teeth which a dentist might have used for a door plate; 'only _half_ so good,' case I'se only half white.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3 No 2, February 1863 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

  • What say you, then, to the fact, that whilst the outer half is devoted to an advertisement of Mr Reprint's imitative publications, the _better half_ contains a bold and faithful warning against such piracy!

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847

  • At the end of the three and a half years (_half_ of the covenant time) he orders the Sacrifice to cease in the Temple at

    The Mark of the Beast

  • I mind one super-tunic she gave me, but half worn, "-- this was said impressively, for a garment only _half worn_ was considered a fit gift from one peeress to another --" of blue damask, all set with silver buttons, and broidered with ladies 'heads along the border.

    A Forgotten Hero Not for Him

  • Thus when we consider the unexplored basilar and interior regions, and that half of its exterior surface which was erroneously appropriated to the thirty-five organs, as well as the erroneous location of several, we perceive that _more than half_ of the organs and functions of the brain remained for investigation.

    Buchanan's Journal of Man, October 1887 Volume 1, Number 9

  • If I had a financial institute and was able to borrow £10 Billion from the B O E at a half% interest and then loaned half to another bank at say 5. 5% and the other half to Business customers at say 14% over a 12 month period how much profit would I make?

    Army Rumour Service

  • Half our heart is here, half there; our need and ache are severed from their help and answer; the tender blue waits far off for the eager, asking red; yet just as surely as His light shines on, and our life moves under it, so surely, across whatever gulf, the beauty shall all be one again; so surely does it even now move all together, perfect and close always under His eye, who never sends a _half_ ray anywhere.

    Real Folks

  • The owners of the hackeries were expected to purchase bhoosa and other fodder for their bullocks at the market price; but they took what they required without payment, in _collusion with_ the officers under whom they were employed, or in _spite_ of them; and the Oude Government in 1845 cut the allowance down to seventeen rupees and half, out of which _three rupees and half_ are cut for perquisites, leaving fourteen rupees for the hackeries: and their owners and drivers have the free privilege of helping themselves to bhoosa and other fodder wherever they can find them.

    A Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, Volumes I & II

  • And you'll let me have tea for them, -- just bread and butter and a bun, -- it will cost not half as much as my new dress this week, not _half_ as much -- "

    The Unclassed


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