[haf-kokt, hahf-]
See more synonyms for half-cocked on Thesaurus.com
  1. (of a firearm) at the position of half cock.
  2. lacking mature consideration or enough preparation; ill-considered or ill-prepared; half-baked.
  1. go off half-cocked, to act or happen prematurely: He went off half-cocked and told everyone the news.Also go off at half cock.

Origin of half-cocked

First recorded in 1800–10


[haf-kok, hahf-]
verb (used with object)
  1. to set the hammer of (a firearm) at half cock.

Origin of half-cock

First recorded in 1825–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for half-cocked

Contemporary Examples of half-cocked

Historical Examples of half-cocked

British Dictionary definitions for half-cocked


  1. (of a firearm) at half-cock


  1. on a single-action firearm, a halfway position in which the hammer can be set for safety; in this position the trigger is cocked by the hammer which cannot reach the primer to fire the weapon
  2. go off at half-cock or go off half-cocked
    1. to fail as a result of inadequate preparation or premature starting
    2. to act or function prematurely
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