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behalf

[bih-haf, -hahf]
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Idioms
  1. in/on behalf of, as a representative of or a proxy for: On behalf of my colleagues, I address you tonight.
  2. in/on (someone's) behalf, in the interest or aid of (someone): He interceded in my behalf.
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Origin of behalf

1400–50; late Middle English; Middle English bihalve, earlier as adv. and preposition with the sense “near(by),” orig. as prepositional phrase bi halve on one side; see be-, by1 half
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for behalf

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Captain Birch briefly responded on behalf of the Volunteers.

  • He then went on to recount her labors and sacrifices in behalf of her race.

  • It is as eager on behalf of the man behind a counter as on that of him who is governing a country.

  • Aggie sniffed vehemently in rebuke of the gross partiality of fate in his behalf.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Here no voice was raised in its favor—no word of justification advanced in its behalf.

    Ridgeway

    Scian Dubh


British Dictionary definitions for behalf

behalf

noun
  1. interest, part, benefit, or respect (only in the phrases on (someone's) behalf, on or US and Canadian in behalf of, in this (or that) behalf)
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Word Origin

Old English be halfe from be by + halfe side; compare Old Norse af halfu

usage

On behalf of is sometimes wrongly used where on the part of is intended. The distinction is that on behalf of someone means `for someone's benefit' or `representing someone', while on the part of someone can be roughly paraphrased as `by someone'. So, the following example is incorrect: another act of apparent negligence, this time not on behalf of the company itself, but on behalf of its banker, when what was meant was there was negligence by the company's banker
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

Word Origin and History for behalf

n.

c.1300, behalve (with dative suffix), from Old English (him) be healfe "by (his) side," and on (his) healfe "on (his) side," from healfe "side" (see half).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with behalf

behalf

see in behalf of.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.