noun be·half \bi-ˈhaf, -ˈhäf, bē-\

Definition of BEHALF

:  interest, benefit; also :  support, defense <argued in his behalf>
on behalf of or in behalf of
:  in the interest of; also :  as a representative of

Usage Discussion of BEHALF

A body of opinion favors in with the interest, benefit sense of behalf and on with the support, defense sense. This distinction has been observed by some writers but overall has never had a sound basis in actual usage. In current British use, on behalf (of) has replaced in behalf (of); both are still used in American English, but the distinction is frequently not observed.

Origin of BEHALF

Middle English, from by + half half, side
First Known Use: 14th century


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