[haf-ouuh r, -ou-er, hahf-]


a period of 30 minutes.
the midpoint between the hours: The clock struck on the half-hour.


of, relating to, or consisting of a half-hour: half-hour programs.

Origin of half-hour

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-hour

Contemporary Examples of half-hour

Historical Examples of half-hour

  • She had slept, perhaps, a half-hour, when Fannie awakened her.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • After I've gone, I want you to stay up for a half-hour anyhow, with the lights burning.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • It seemed that a half-hour's easy walk should take them to the foothills.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • You see me in the plight in which I came out of the packet within this half-hour.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • The church clock struck the half-hour as he turned into the wood.

British Dictionary definitions for half-hour



  1. a period of 30 minutes
  2. (as modifier)a half-hour stint on the treadmill
  1. the point of time 30 minutes after the beginning of an hour
  2. (as modifier)a half-hour chime
Derived Formshalf-hourly, adverb, adjective
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 half-hour

early 15c., from half + hour. Related: Half-hourly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper