- plural of half.
- by halves,
- incompletely or partially: to do things by halves.
- halfheartedly: better not at all than by halves.
- go halves, to share equally; divide evenly.
- one of two equal or approximately equal parts of a divisible whole, as an object, or unit of measure or time; a part of a whole equal or almost equal to the remainder.
- a quantity or amount equal to such a part (½).
- Sports. either of two equal periods of play, usually with an intermission or rest period separating them.Compare quarter(def 10).
- one of two; a part of a pair.
- half dollar.
- the sum of 50 cents: Four dimes and two nickels make a half.
- Baseball. either of the two units of play into which an inning is divided, the visiting team batting in the first unit and the home team batting in the second.
- Football. a halfback.
- British Informal.
- being one of two equal or approximately equal parts of a divisible whole: a half quart.
- being half or about half of anything in degree, amount, length, etc.: at half speed; half sleeve.
- partial or incomplete: half measures.
- in or to the extent or measure of half.
- in part; partly; incompletely: half understood.
- to some extent; almost: half recovered.
- by half, by very much; by far: She was too talented by half for her routine role.
- half again as much/many, as much as 50 percent more: This mug holds half again as much coffee as the smaller one.
- half in two, Southern U.S. (chiefly Gulf States ). in or into two parts; in half: Cut the cake half in two.
- in half, divided into halves: The vase broke in half.
- not half,
- not at all; not really: His first attempts at painting are not half bad.
- half(def 20).
- not the half of, a significant yet relatively minor part of something that remains to be described in full: He accused them of being responsible for the error, and that's not the half of the story.Also not half of, not half.
Origin of half
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to divide into two equal parts.
- to share equally: to halve one's rations with a stranger.
- to reduce to half.
- Golf. to play (a hole, round, or match) in the same number of strokes as one's opponent.
- halve together, to join (two pieces of wood) by cutting from one, at the place of joining, a portion fitting to that left solid in the other.
Origin of halve
Examples from the Web for halves
It turns out that a nail clipper, divided into two halves and hooked up directly into a power socket will boil water.Tales of a Jailhouse Gourmet: How I learned to Cook in Prison
June 21, 2014
The halves are divided on whether Kiev is doing a good job right now.Ukraine’s Fighting Words
May 13, 2014
To give a more vivid picture of the Donetsk population as he understood it, Verin drew a circle and divided it in two halves.Putin’s Men in Ukraine: We’re Not Giving In
April 18, 2014
Transfer the halves and cylinders to a medium sauté pan with the chicken stock and butter and bring to a simmer.Daniel Boulud Reveals His 4 Favorite Recipes From His New Cookbook
October 15, 2013
Here, Lee is looking to use shorter-run fare as a bridge between the two halves of 22 or 24-episode dramas.
I was on the way, my Love, to meet you (I never do things by halves), when I got your card.The Letters of Robert Burns
Everything which benefits one of the halves benefits the other.The Sexual Question
Spread the jam at the bottom, and lay on it the sponge cakes, cut in halves.
Put them in the milk, with the onions cut in halves, and pepper and salt.
When the fruit is nearly ripe, pare and cut some in halves; break the stones, blanch the kernels, and put them to the fruit.
- to divide into two approximately equal parts
- to share equally
- to reduce by half, as by cutting
- golf to take the same number of strokes on (a hole or round) as one's opponent
- either of two equal or corresponding parts that together comprise a whole
- a quantity equalling such a parthalf a dozen
- half a pint, esp of beer
- Scot a small drink of spirits, esp whisky
- sport the half of the pitch regarded as belonging to one team
- golf an equal score on a hole or round with an opponent
- (in various games) either of two periods of play separated by an interval (the first half and second half)
- a half-price ticket on a bus, train, etc
- short for half-hour
- short for halfpenny (def. 1)
- sport short for halfback
- obsolete a half-year period
- better half jocular a person's wife or husband
- by half by an excessive amount or to an excessive degreehe's too arrogant by half
- by halves (used with a negative) without being thorough or exhaustivewe don't do things by halves
- go halves (often foll by on, in, etc)
- to share the expenses (of something with one other person)
- to share the whole amount (of something with another person)to go halves on an orange
- being a half or approximately a halfhalf the kingdom
- (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)half of them came
- not perfect or complete; partialhe only did a half job on it
- to the amount or extent of a half
- to a great amount or extent
- partially; to an extent
- half two informal 30 minutes after two o'clock
- have half a mind to to have the intention of
- not half informal
- not in any wayhe's not half clever enough
- Britishreally; very; indeedhe isn't half stupid
- certainly; yes, indeed
Word Origin and History for halves
Old English half, halb (Mercian), healf (W. Saxon) "side, part," not necessarily of equal division (original sense preserved in behalf), noun, adjective, and adverb all in Old English, from Proto-Germanic *khalbas "something divided" (cf. Old Saxon halba, Old Norse halfr, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch half, German halb, Gothic halbs "half"), perhaps from PIE (s)kel- "to cut."
Used also in Old English phrases as in modern German, to mean "one half unit less than," e.g. þridda healf "two and a half," literally "half third." The construction in two and a half, etc., is first recorded c.1200. Of time, in half past ten, etc., first attested 1750; in Scottish, the half often is prefixed to the following hour, as in German (e.g. halb elf "ten thirty"). To go off half-cocked "speak or act too hastily" (1833) is in allusion to firearms going off prematurely.
c.1200, halfen "to divide in halves;" see half. Meaning "to reduce by half" is from c.1400. Related: Halved; halving.
Idioms and Phrases with halves
In addition to the idioms beginning with half
- at half-mast
- better half
- by half
- glass is half full
- go halfway
- go off (half-cocked)
- in half
- not bad (half bad)
- six of one, half dozen of the other
- time and a half
- with half an eye