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[haf-ouuh r, -ou-er, hahf-] /ˈhæfˈaʊər, -ˈaʊ ər, ˈhɑf-/
a period of 30 minutes.
the midpoint between the hours:
The clock struck on the half-hour.
of, relating to, or consisting of a half-hour:
half-hour programs.
Origin of half-hour
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-hour
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had slept, perhaps, a half-hour, when Fannie awakened her.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • After I've gone, I want you to stay up for a half-hour anyhow, with the lights burning.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • It seemed that a half-hour's easy walk should take them to the foothills.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • You see me in the plight in which I came out of the packet within this half-hour.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The church clock struck the half-hour as he turned into the wood.

British Dictionary definitions for half-hour


  1. a period of 30 minutes
  2. (as modifier): a half-hour stint on the treadmill
  1. the point of time 30 minutes after the beginning of an hour
  2. (as modifier): a half-hour chime
Derived Forms
half-hourly, adverb, adjective
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-hour

early 15c., from half + hour. Related: Half-hourly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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