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2017 Word of the Year

behalf

[bih-haf, -hahf] /bɪˈhæf, -ˈhɑf/
Idioms
1.
in / on behalf of, as a representative of or a proxy for:
On behalf of my colleagues, I address you tonight.
2.
in / on someone's behalf, in the interest or aid of (someone):
He interceded in my behalf.
Origin of behalf
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English; Middle English bihalve, earlier as adv. and preposition with the sense “near(by),” orig. as prepositional phrase bi halve on one side; see be-, by1half
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for behalf
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He then went on to recount her labors and sacrifices in behalf of her race.

  • Captain Birch briefly responded on behalf of the Volunteers.

  • It is as eager on behalf of the man behind a counter as on that of him who is governing a country.

  • Aggie sniffed vehemently in rebuke of the gross partiality of fate in his behalf.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Here no voice was raised in its favor—no word of justification advanced in its behalf.

    Ridgeway Scian Dubh
British Dictionary definitions for behalf

behalf

/bɪˈhɑːf/
noun
1.
interest, part, benefit, or respect (only in the phrases on (someone's) behalf, on or US and Canadian in behalf of, in this (or that) behalf)
Usage note
On behalf of is sometimes wrongly used where on the part of is intended. The distinction is that on behalf of someone means `for someone's benefit' or `representing someone', while on the part of someone can be roughly paraphrased as `by someone'. So, the following example is incorrect: another act of apparent negligence, this time not on behalf of the company itself, but on behalf of its banker, when what was meant was there was negligence by the company's banker
Word Origin
Old English be halfe from be by + halfe side; compare Old Norse af halfu
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for behalf
n.

c.1300, behalve (with dative suffix), from Old English (him) be healfe "by (his) side," and on (his) healfe "on (his) side," from healfe "side" (see half).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with behalf

behalf

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for behalf

14
15
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