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[haf-hahr-tid, hahf-] /ˈhæfˈhɑr tɪd, ˈhɑf-/
having or showing little enthusiasm:
a halfhearted attempt to work.
Origin of halfhearted
First recorded in 1605-15; half + heart + -ed3
Related forms
halfheartedly, adverb
halfheartedness, noun
indifferent, uninterested, cold, cool, perfunctory.
enthusiastic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for half-hearted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the same time, what's the world for, if you're to meet it in that half-hearted way?

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Old friends were gone from him; new friends were but half-hearted.

  • But this being so, and you but half-hearted, I tell you, it is too dangerous a game to play for groats.

    The Wild Geese Stanley John Weyman
  • Had he stopped there her belief would have only been half-hearted.

    Kept in the Dark

    Anthony Trollope
  • I had never known him handle a case in such a half-hearted fashion.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for half-hearted


without enthusiasm or determination
Derived Forms
half-heartedly, adverb
half-heartedness, noun
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-hearted

also halfhearted, early 15c.; see half + hearted. Related: halfheartedly; halfheartedness. English in 17c. also had half-headed "stupid."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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