or half-time

[haf-tahym, hahf-]
  1. the period indicating completion of half the time allowed for an activity, as for a football or basketball game or an examination.
  2. Sports. the intermission or rest period between the two halves of a football, basketball, or other game, during which spectators are often entertained by baton twirling, marching bands, or the like.
  1. pertaining to or taking place during a halftime: The football fans were treated to a halftime exhibition by the marching band.

Origin of halftime

First recorded in 1870–75; half + time
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for half-time


  1. sport
    1. a rest period between the two halves of a game
    2. (as modifier)the half-time score
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-time

also halftime, half time, indicating "half of the time," 1640s, from half + time. Tempo sense is by 1880. In football, from 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper