half

noun
\ˈhaf, ˈhäf\
plural halves\ ˈhavz , ˈhävz \

Definition of half 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : either of two equal parts that compose something also : a part approximately equal to one of these half the distance the larger half of the fortune

b : half an hour used in designation of time half past two

2 : one of a pair: such as

a : partner

b : semester, term

c : either of the two equal periods that together make up the playing time of some games (such as football) also : the midpoint in playing time the score was tied at the half

4 : halfback

by half

: by a great deal too clever by half

by halves

: in part : half-heartedly She never does things by halves.

half again as

: one-and-a-half times as half again as many

in half

: into two equal or nearly equal parts cut the apple in half

half

adjective

Definition of half (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : being one of two equal parts a half share a half sheet of paper

b(1) : that is approximately equal to either of two equal parts that compose something : amounting to approximately half a half mile a half million

(2) : falling short of the full or complete thing : partial half measures a half smile

2 : extending over one of two equal parts of something : covering only half a half window a half mask

half

adverb

Definition of half (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : in an equal part or degree the crowd was half jeering, half respectful

b : not completely : partially half persuaded

2 : by any means : at all her singing isn't half bad

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Other Words from half

Adjective

halfness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for half

Synonyms: Noun

companion, fellow, match, mate, twin

Synonyms: Adjective

deficient, fragmental, fragmentary, halfway, incomplete, partial

Synonyms: Adverb

halfway, incompletely, part, partially, partly, partway

Antonyms: Adjective

complete, entire, full, intact, integral, perfect, whole

Antonyms: Adverb

all, altogether, completely, entirely, fully, perfectly, quite, totally, utterly, wholly

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Examples of half in a Sentence

Noun

She broke each cookie into halves. “Which half do you want?” “I'll take the smaller half.” Two halves make a whole. The team fell behind in the first half but rallied in the second half to win the game. “What's yours?” “A half of lager, please.”

Adjective

a half cup of coffee He owns a half share in the company. a half pound of cheese She looked at him with a shy half smile.

Adverb

The glass of water is half full. The crowd was half cheering and half jeering. The train departed at half past the hour. He was only half aware of what was happening. She had half persuaded me to stay. The door was half open. These eggs are only half cooked.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s been a lot of news about that over the last month, month and a half that one of the reasons why- The rallies aren’t getting live anymore. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: RevUp CEO Steve Spinner on Recode Decode," 12 Nov. 2018 These times aren’t easy—women between ages 18 to 34, for example, have to run a full marathon in 3:13:00 (that's a 7:21 per mile pace) or a half in 1:32:00 (a 7:01 per mile pace). Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "4 Ways to Get Into the NYC Marathon—Plus 4 Marathons That Are Much Easier to Enter," 6 Nov. 2018 After studying transit and job patterns, Bluestone found that roughly 80 percent of workers tend to work and commute within the northern or southern halves of Boston, meaning the job market for many Bostonians is geographically segregated. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As top innovation hub expands, can straining local infrastructure keep pace?," 6 Nov. 2018 Transfer half to second sheet and roast until golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Spice-Roasted Carrots," 23 Oct. 2018 Men account for up to half of all infertility factors. Pamela Tsigdinos, Marie Claire, "The Wild World of IVF, Explained," 1 Oct. 2018 Three years in the west wing, five and a half years in the white house. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Brett Kavanaugh's Opening Statement at Today's Hearing," 27 Sep. 2018 Place lemon halves, cut sides down, on the baking sheet. Redbook Test Kitchen, Redbook, "Mediterranean Chicken Bake," 20 Aug. 2018 Just over a quarter of the sites surveyed by SembraMedia had revenues of more than $100,000 in 2016 and half lost money. The Economist, "Latin America’s new media are growing up," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This is the last addition to the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history, which includes extensive hearings, multiple committee interviews, over 1,200 questions for the record and over a half million pages of documents. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "The FBI's Kavanaugh Investigation Is Over, but They Didn't Interview Dr. Christine Blasey Ford," 4 Oct. 2018 NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital opened a two-room luxury birthing center in 2015 that is still in operation, but is under used according to a half dozen midwives, doulas and people familiar with the center’s operations.. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "Mount Sinai to Close Natural Birthing Center After Two Decades," 31 July 2018 For more than half a decade, Northern Illinois was the gold standard in the Mid-American Conference. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Improving Northern Illinois is No. 60 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 28 June 2018 East actually trailed by nine twice in the game (9-0 and 16-7) before winning the second half 20-3. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "East rallies late, beats West in Southwest Ohio All-Star football game," 7 June 2018 Despite being 3-0 down to AC Milan at half-time in that Champions League final, Liverpool mounted a second-half comeback to eventually win the game on penalties. CNN, "'Touching the trophy' curse strikes again in Europa League final?," 17 May 2018 For the last year and a half the economy has been growing at an annual rate of 3%. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Why Argentina’s Talks With the IMF Are Enraging the Country," 11 May 2018 The Coast Guard was notified shortly before 7 p.m. of an unmanned 12-foot dark green Jon Boat roughly a half mile offshore of Lions Park, according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard 9th District Great Lakes. Kaylee Remington, cleveland.com, "Cleveland police investigating after 6-month-old baby dies," 28 Apr. 2018 Since Trump was elected president, Labrador has met with him at least a half dozen times. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "Idaho candidates 'appalled' by Trump in the past, woo his supporters now | Idaho Statesman," 24 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

In 2018’s first half, Goldman made $767 million in pretax profits in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, about 11% of the firmwide total. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Goldman Changes Asia Banking Leadership as New CEO Digs In," 20 Oct. 2018 Busted for code violation #alizecornet took 10 sec to turn top right way but #novacdjokovic can sit for minutes half-naked. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Watch: Serena Williams calls out sexism in tennis after US Open loss," 9 Sep. 2018 Milwaukee's festival season might be half over, but beer festival season is just beginning to heat up. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Start making pretzel necklaces now: Beer festival season is in full pour," 9 July 2018 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Miami trimmed Philly’s 18-point second half lead to 95-87 with 2:57 remaining on a Wayne Ellington three-pointer, but got no closer. Manny Navarro, miamiherald, "Offseason full of questions await Heat after Sixers wrap up first round series in 5 | Miami Herald," 24 Apr. 2018 Pink performs 'The Star Spangled Banner' with the flu and Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl half-time show includes a Prince tribute. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl halftime show: 5 moments that stood out," 4 Feb. 2018 In his first 268 plate appearances, Simmons had 11 strikeouts, not even half his total of 25 walks. Jeff Miller, latimes.com, "Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons is an aberration in a league where strikeouts are soaring," 24 June 2018 Samantha and her brother Thomas Jr. (Meghan’s half-brother) will not be at the wedding on May 19. Diana Pearl, PEOPLE.com, "Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Admits She Arranged for Their Dad to Pose for Staged Photos," 14 May 2018 The average driver travels 15,000 miles per year, roughly half city/half highway. Jerry Reynolds I, Houston Chronicle, "Know your total cost of transportation," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'half.' 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 half

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for half

Noun

Middle English, from Old English healf; akin to Old High German halb half

Adjective

see half entry 1

Adverb

see half entry 1

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Statistics for half

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for half

The first known use of half was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for half

half

noun

English Language Learners Definition of half

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one of two equal or nearly equal parts into which something can be divided

: either of the two equal periods of playing time in sports like football and basketball

the half : the time when the first half of a game ends

half

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of half (Entry 2 of 3)

: equal or nearly equal in size, value, amount, etc., to one half of something

: not complete

half

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of half (Entry 3 of 3)

: to an extent that is equal or nearly equal to half of something

: not completely : to some degree

half

noun
\ˈhaf, ˈhäf\
plural halves\ ˈhavz, ˈhävz \

Kids Definition of half

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one of two equal parts into which something can be divided Cut it in half.

2 : a part of something that is about equal to the remainder half the distance

3 : one of a pair I missed the first half of the game.

half

adjective

Kids Definition of half (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : being one of two equal parts Add a half cup of milk.

2 : amounting to about a half : partial She gave a half smile.

half

adverb

Kids Definition of half (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to the extent of half half full

2 : not completely She was half asleep.

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Comments on half

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