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[ey-ker] /ˈeɪ kər/
a common measure of area: in the U.S. and U.K., 1 acre equals 4,840 square yards (4,047 square meters) or 0.405 hectare; 640 acres equals one square mile.
  1. lands; land:
    wooded acres.
  2. Informal. large quantities:
    acres of Oriental rugs.
Archaic. a plowed or sown field.
Origin of acre
before 1000; Middle English aker, Old English æcer; cognate with Old Frisian ekker, Old Saxon akkar, Old High German ackar (German Acker), Old Norse akr, Gothic akers, Latin ager, Greek agrós, Sanskrit ájra-; see also acorn, agrarian, agrestic, agriculture, agro-
Related forms
half-acre, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for half-acre
Historical Examples
  • A half-acre within white-washed palings, like any country graveyard, lay on the summit of the mountain.

  • Hell's half-acre was a prelude to ten or twelve miles of geyser formation.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • He was no half-acre farmer, but a worker of hundreds of acres; an' my little homestead was only a potato patch alongside of his.

    McClure's Magazine December, 1895 Edited by Ida M. Tarbell
  • His successor, the poetic Piers, had only a half-acre to plough.

    Domesday Book and Beyond Frederic William Maitland
  • While the lower plot is flooded for rice, upland crops may be growing on the adjacent elevated acre or half-acre.

  • Hell's half-acre was a prelude to ten or twelve miles of geyser formation.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • Judith turned abruptly, faced God's half-acre, and Ben stood still with eyes on her rigid shoulders and carven profile.

    Nobody's Child Elizabeth Dejeans
  • Sight rather have that, Tumm, says he, than a half-acre farm.

    Every Man for Himself Norman Duncan
  • You've been here in hell's half-acre three days and I've been here three years.

    Foes in Ambush Charles King
  • As we had done pretty well with a half-acre, we must have more ground planted.

British Dictionary definitions for half-acre


a unit of area used in certain English-speaking countries, equal to 4840 square yards or 4046.86 square metres
  1. land, esp a large area
  2. (informal) a large amount: he has acres of space in his room
(NZ) farm the long acre, to graze cows on the verge of a road
Word Origin
Old English æcer field, acre; related to Old Norse akr, German Acker, Latin ager field, Sanskrit ajra field


(ˈɑːkrə). a state of W Brazil: mostly unexplored tropical forests; acquired from Bolivia in 1903. Capital: Rio Branco. Pop: 586 942 (2002). Area: 152 589 sq km (58 899 sq miles)
(ˈeɪkə; ˈɑːkə). a city and port in N Israel, strategically situated on the Bay of Acre in the E Mediterranean: taken and retaken during the Crusades (1104, 1187, 1191, 1291), taken by the Turks (1517), by Egypt (1832), and by the Turks again (1839). Pop: 45 600 (2001) Old Testament name Accho (ɑːˈkəʊ) Arabic name `Akka (ɑːˈkɑː) Hebrew name `Akko (ɑːˈkəʊ)
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 half-acre



Old English æcer "tilled field, open land," from Proto-Germanic *akraz "field, pasture" (cf. Old Norse akr, Old Saxon akkar, Old Frisian ekker, Middle Dutch acker, Dutch akker, Old High German achar, German acker, Gothic akrs), from PIE *agro- "field" (cf. Latin ager "field, land," Greek agros, Sanskrit ajras "plain, open country").

Originally in English without reference to dimension; in late Old English the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day, afterward defined by statute as a piece 40 poles by 4, or an equivalent shape (5 Edw. I, 31 Edw. III, 24 Hen. VIII). Original sense retained in God's acre "churchyard."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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half-acre in Science
A unit of area in the US Customary System, used in land and sea floor measurement and equal to 43,560 square feet or 4,047 square meters.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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