behalf

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 I wrote the letter on behalf of my client.

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On Behalf of vs. in Behalf of: Usage Guide

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.

Examples of behalf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In addition, Imagina Media agreed to pay a fine of $12,883,320 on behalf of Imagina US as part of a non-prosecution agreement. Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "Former Guatemalan soccer head to forfeit $350,000," 5 Feb. 2019 Inmates at a federal jail in Brooklyn were subject to inhumane conditions after an electrical fire left many cells cold and dark for a week, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of detainees Monday against the Bureau of Prisons. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Civil Rights Suit Filed Over ‘Inhumane’ Conditions at Brooklyn Federal Jail," 4 Feb. 2019 Marc Elias, an attorney who brought the redistricting lawsuit on behalf of a group of African-American voters, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday. Denise Lavoie, The Seattle Times, "Court picks Virginia redistricting plan that helps Democrats," 23 Jan. 2019 These included Cohen Private Ventures, which invests on behalf of fund manager Steven A. Cohen. Philip Georgiadis, WSJ, "Metro, Challenger to U.K.’s Banking Establishment, Drops One-Third in Value," 23 Jan. 2019 Another increasingly prominent legal attack dog is Los Angeles lawyer Charles Harder, who famously sued the gossip website Gawker into extinction on behalf of the nominal plaintiff, Hulk Hogan. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Much Does It Cost to Keep Your Name Out of the News?," 18 Jan. 2019 After a galaxy-spanning collective makes contact with Earth, glam-rocker Danesh Jalo of Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros is invited to audition on behalf of humanity to establish that humans are sentient. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The 13 best sci-fi books to check out on your new Kindle," 29 Dec. 2018 That committee is typically comprised of a group of unionized employees at the company who negotiate on behalf of their colleagues. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "As digital media companies brace for change, unions try to cushion the blow," 26 Dec. 2018 Scientists Ye Wenjie and Wang Miao make decisions on behalf of humanity — each choice worth at least a car ride of heated debate. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behalf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of behalf

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for behalf

Middle English, from by + half half, side

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Dictionary Entries near behalf

begummed

begunk

be had

behalf

Behan

be hard/tough to beat

Behari

Statistics for behalf

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for behalf

The first known use of behalf was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for behalf

behalf

noun
be·​half | \ bi-ˈhaf , -ˈhäf\

Kids Definition of behalf

: a person's interest or support He argued in my behalf.
on behalf of or in behalf of
1 : in the interest of I speak in behalf of my friend.
2 : as a representative of I accepted the award on behalf of the whole class.

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More from Merriam-Webster on behalf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with behalf

Spanish Central: Translation of behalf

Nglish: Translation of behalf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behalf for Arabic Speakers

Comments on behalf

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