- incompletely or partially: to do things by halves.
- halfheartedly: better not at all than by halves.
noun, plural halves [havz, hahvz] /hævz, hɑvz/.
- half dollar.
- the sum of 50 cents: Four dimes and two nickels make a half.
- not at all; not really: His first attempts at painting are not half bad.
- half(def 20).
Origin of half
Synonyms for half
verb (used with object), halved, halv·ing.
Origin of halve
Examples from the Web for halves
Contemporary Examples of halves
It turns out that a nail clipper, divided into two halves and hooked up directly into a power socket will boil water.Tales of a Jailhouse Gourmet: How I learned to Cook in Prison
June 21, 2014
The halves are divided on whether Kiev is doing a good job right now.Ukraine’s Fighting Words
May 13, 2014
To give a more vivid picture of the Donetsk population as he understood it, Verin drew a circle and divided it in two halves.Putin’s Men in Ukraine: We’re Not Giving In
April 18, 2014
Transfer the halves and cylinders to a medium sauté pan with the chicken stock and butter and bring to a simmer.Daniel Boulud Reveals His 4 Favorite Recipes From His New Cookbook
October 15, 2013
Here, Lee is looking to use shorter-run fare as a bridge between the two halves of 22 or 24-episode dramas.
Historical Examples of halves
I was on the way, my Love, to meet you (I never do things by halves), when I got your card.The Letters of Robert Burns
Everything which benefits one of the halves benefits the other.The Sexual Question
Spread the jam at the bottom, and lay on it the sponge cakes, cut in halves.
Put them in the milk, with the onions cut in halves, and pepper and salt.
When the fruit is nearly ripe, pare and cut some in halves; break the stones, blanch the kernels, and put them to the fruit.
Word Origin for halve
noun plural halves (hɑːvz)
- either of two equal or corresponding parts that together comprise a whole
- a quantity equalling such a parthalf a dozen
- 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 halfhalf the kingdom
- (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)half of them came
- not in any wayhe's not half clever enough
- Britishreally; very; indeedhe isn't half stupid
- certainly; yes, indeed
Word Origin for half
Old English half, halb (Mercian), healf (W. Saxon) "side, part," not necessarily of equal division (original sense preserved in behalf), noun, adjective, and adverb all in Old English, from Proto-Germanic *khalbas "something divided" (cf. Old Saxon halba, Old Norse halfr, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch half, German halb, Gothic halbs "half"), perhaps from PIE (s)kel- "to cut."
Used also in Old English phrases as in modern German, to mean "one half unit less than," e.g. þridda healf "two and a half," literally "half third." The construction in two and a half, etc., is first recorded c.1200. Of time, in half past ten, etc., first attested 1750; in Scottish, the half often is prefixed to the following hour, as in German (e.g. halb elf "ten thirty"). To go off half-cocked "speak or act too hastily" (1833) is in allusion to firearms going off prematurely.
c.1200, halfen "to divide in halves;" see half. Meaning "to reduce by half" is from c.1400. Related: Halved; halving.
see by halves; go halves. Also see under 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.