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[half-duhz-uh n, hahf-] /ˈhælfˈdʌz ən, ˈhɑf-/
one half of a dozen; six.
considering six as a unit; consisting of six.
Origin of half-dozen
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1375-1425 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for half-dozen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was as taciturn as ever, speaking scarcely a half-dozen words.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • With it I have often killed a half-dozen of partridges from the same tree.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • Our shanty is the habitation of some half-dozen of us, year out and year in.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • That draper's shop was not the place for a scene, with a half-dozen clerks to enjoy it.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The half-dozen troopers he considered ample, as indeed they were.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for half-dozen


(preceded by a)
  1. six or a group of six: a half-dozen roses
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as singular or plural): at least a half-dozen
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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