Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for in behalf of
- interest, part, benefit, or respect (only in the phrases on (someone's) behalf, on or US and Canadian in behalf of, in this (or that) behalf)
Word Origin for behalf
Old English be halfe from be by + halfe side; compare Old Norse af halfu
On behalf of is sometimes wrongly used where on the part of is intended. The distinction is that on behalf of someone means `for someone's benefit' or `representing someone', while on the part of someone can be roughly paraphrased as `by someone'. So, the following example is incorrect: another act of apparent negligence, this time not on behalf of the company itself, but on behalf of its banker, when what was meant was there was negligence by the company's banker
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 in behalf of
c.1300, behalve (with dative suffix), from Old English (him) be healfe "by (his) side," and on (his) healfe "on (his) side," from healfe "side" (see half).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with in behalf of
For someone else, as someone's agent or representative. For example, In behalf of the board, I want to thank you for your help, or Joan was speaking on behalf of the entire staff. [c. 1300]
For someone's benefit or interest, as in He was collecting the dues in my behalf. [Late 1500s] Some authorities insist that in behalf of be used only to mean “for someone's benefit” and on behalf of only to mean “as someone's agent.” In practice, however, the terms are so often used interchangeably that this distinction no longer has a basis.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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