[half-duhz-uh n, hahf-]


one half of a dozen; six.


considering six as a unit; consisting of six.

Origin of half-dozen

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for half-dozen

Contemporary Examples of half-dozen

Historical Examples of half-dozen

  • She was as taciturn as ever, speaking scarcely a half-dozen words.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • With it I have often killed a half-dozen of partridges from the same tree.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • Our shanty is the habitation of some half-dozen of us, year out and year in.

  • That draper's shop was not the place for a scene, with a half-dozen clerks to enjoy it.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The half-dozen troopers he considered ample, as indeed they were.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for half-dozen



(preceded by a)
  1. six or a group of sixa half-dozen roses
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as singular or plural)at least a half-dozen
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