Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

half-cock

[haf-kok, hahf-] /ˈhæfˈkɒk, ˈhɑf-/
verb (used with object)
1.
to set the hammer of (a firearm) at half cock.
Origin of half-cock
1825-1835
1825-35

half-cocked

[haf-kokt, hahf-] /ˈhæfˈkɒkt, ˈhɑf-/
adjective
1.
(of a firearm) at the position of half cock.
2.
lacking mature consideration or enough preparation; ill-considered or ill-prepared; half-baked.
Idioms
3.
go off half-cocked, to act or happen prematurely:
He went off half-cocked and told everyone the news.
Also, go off at half cock.
Origin
1800-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for half cocked
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for half cocked

half-cock

noun
1.
on a single-action firearm, a halfway position in which the hammer can be set for safety; in this position the trigger is cocked by the hammer which cannot reach the primer to fire the weapon
2.
go off at half-cock, go off half-cocked
  1. to fail as a result of inadequate preparation or premature starting
  2. to act or function prematurely

half-cocked

adjective
1.
(of a firearm) at half-cock
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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for half cocked

half cocked

adjective

: a half-cocked start

adverb

Prematurely; unprepared: not going into this half-cocked (1940s+)

Related Terms

go off half-cocked

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for half-cock

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for half

10
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for half cocked