Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

behalf

[bih-haf, -hahf]
See more synonyms for behalf on Thesaurus.com
Idioms
  1. in/on behalf of, as a representative of or a proxy for: On behalf of my colleagues, I address you tonight.
  2. in/on (someone's) behalf, in the interest or aid of (someone): He interceded in my behalf.
Show More

Origin of behalf

1400–50; late Middle English; Middle English bihalve, earlier as adv. and preposition with the sense “near(by),” orig. as prepositional phrase bi halve on one side; see be-, by1 half
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

as, being, considering, for, over, seeing, since, through, whereas

British Dictionary definitions for in behalf of

behalf

noun
  1. 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)
Show More

Word Origin

Old English be halfe from be by + halfe side; compare Old Norse af halfu

usage

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

behalf

n.

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).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with in behalf of

in behalf of

Also, on behalf of.

Show More

1

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]

Show More

2

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.

Show More

behalf

see in behalf of.

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.