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.
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.
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.
Idioms about half
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 at all; not really: His first attempts at painting are not half bad.
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use half in a sentence
Eric Garcetti succeeded Villaraigosa and has received high marks in his first year and a half on the job.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races | David Freedlander | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
My dad was a sailor, and all through my childhood he was away half of the time at sea, and to an extent I have a similar job.
As a result, training squadrons—called Formal Training Units (FTU)—are being staffed with less than half the people they need.Exclusive: U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says | Dave Majumdar | January 5, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Travel Noire fellows earned about a half million travel miles in 2014.‘We Out Here’: Inside the New Black Travel Movement | Charlise Ferguson | January 4, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Murders in the City of Angels have fallen by about half in the last 10 years: no small feat for such a big city.
It is the principal waste-product of metabolism, and constitutes about one-half of all the solids excreted—about 30 gm.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
A small book, bound in full purple calf, lay half hidden in a nest of fine tissue paper on the dressing-table.Hilda Lessways | Arnold Bennett
Hilda, trembling at the door, more than half expected Mr. Orgreave to say: "You mean, she's invited herself."Hilda Lessways | Arnold Bennett
All changes are to be Rang either by walking them (as the term is) or else Whole-pulls, or half-pulls.Tintinnalogia, or, the Art of Ringing | Richard Duckworth and Fabian Stedman
The Vine is a universal favorite, and rarely out of view; while it often seems to cover half the ground in sight.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
British Dictionary definitions for half (1 of 2)
either of two equal or corresponding parts that together comprise a whole
a quantity equalling such a part: half 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 degree: he's too arrogant by half
by halves (used with a negative) without being thorough or exhaustive: we 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 half: half the kingdom
(as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): half of them came
not perfect or complete; partial: he 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 way: he's not half clever enough
British really; very; indeed: he isn't half stupid
certainly; yes, indeed
- Related prefixes: bi-, demi-, hemi-, semi-
British Dictionary definitions for half- (2 of 2)
one of two equal parts: half-moon
related by one parent only: half-sister
not completely; partly: half-hardy
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with half
In addition to the idioms beginning with half
- half a heart, with
- half a loaf is better than none
- half a mind
- half of it
- half the battle
- 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
Also see underhalfwayhalves.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.