\ ˈhaf How to pronounce half (audio) , ˈhäf \
plural halves\ ˈhavz How to pronounce halves (audio) , 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 timehalf past two
2 : one of a pair: such as
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
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

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



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


halfness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for half

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Donald Trump today stands unleashed and uncontrolled, with 8,400 hours—a half-million minutes and umpteen tweets—left in his first presidential term. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "Trump Now Has the Senate GOP's Blessing to Undermine Democracy," 6 Feb. 2020 Fuller, Irithmics CEO, said during a visit by Fortune to the company’s base at a former glove factory in the attractive Wiltshire village of Holt, two and a half hours’ drive west of London. Adrian Croft, Fortune, "Click here to oust the board— Inside the A.I. startup that’s transforming activist investing," 6 Feb. 2020 In 2017, the average wait for a police report was about 4 and a half months. oregonlive, "Portland will appeal judge’s ruling to learn how much is an ‘excessive’ public records fee," 5 Feb. 2020 Happy hour — half-price flatbreads, $1 off draft beer and more — is 3 to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Lochland’s bar and restaurant — a new version of Capitol Pub — opens Feb. 6 in Lake Highlands," 5 Feb. 2020 In fact, Biden attended Syracuse law school on a half-scholarship and graduated near the bottom on his class. Fox News, "When Joe Biden exaggerated his academic record during angry rant in New Hampshire," 5 Feb. 2020 First half: Suns trailed 64-61 despite shooting 61.5% from the field. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns have no answer for Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons," 5 Feb. 2020 Portland comes into tonight’s game at 23-28, a half-game ahead of the Spurs for ninth place in the West. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "For rodeo tripping Spurs, it’s goodbye LeBron, hello Dame," 5 Feb. 2020 Friday: There is also a 30% chance of snow with accumulation of less than a half-inch possible, mainly before 5 p.m. Cloudy, with a high near 33. Jennie Key, Cincinnati.com, "What was that I saw over the river yesterday? And there's a little snow in the forecast," 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The low-budget film grosses more than $100 million worldwide and will spawn a half-dozen sequels in the following six years, making the film’s primary villain, Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), a bona fide horror icon. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Saws, hostels, and human centipedes: A long and unpleasant history of torture porn," 29 Jan. 2020 That’s in stark contrast to last year’s CES presentation when then-CEO Kraznich unveiled a half-dozen new chips for desktops and laptops featuring the company's ninth and 10th generation Core designs that were ready to hit the market. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "AMD’s Command Performace at CES 2020 Was Years in the Making," 10 Jan. 2020 Blazes in New South Wales and other states so far have killed 20 people and up to half a billion animals, leading to fear of extinctions. Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, "As Fires Rage, Australia Pushes to Emit More Carbon," 6 Jan. 2020 This isn’t one of those deals where a big-name star rattles off a half-baked speech, poses for some pictures and runs to the bank. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Jimmy Connors, group begin quest for next U.S. men’s tennis champ in Carlsbad," 19 Sep. 2019 When paired with the company’s mobile app, riders can listen to GPS directions, answer phone calls, or even chat with buddies up to half a mile away using the R1’s built-in mic and speakers. Stephanie Pearson, WIRED, "Top 3 Bike Helmets for 2019," 24 June 2019 The doors open at 7:30 p.m., a half-hour behind schedule. Alix Strauss, New York Times, "Watch an Empty Warehouse Become a Psychedelic Party Wonderland," 20 Dec. 2019 Loans for Less, for example, filed 95% of the small claims cases in South Ogden, a suburban city of 17,000 about a half-hour north of Salt Lake City on the interstate, in fiscal year 2018, according to state data. Anjali Tsui, ProPublica, "They Loan You Money. Then They Get a Warrant for Your Arrest.," 3 Dec. 2019 By the time police learned of the escape, the four teens had more than a half-hour head start, officials said. Fox News, "Nashville cops hunt teen murder suspects, two others on the run after jailbreak," 3 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Jayhawks dominate second half yet again The Longhorns took a five-point lead into the break in the previous meeting between the two, and the Jayhawks responded by outscoring Texas by 14 in the second half. Alex Briseno, Dallas News, "Texas’ promising performance plagued by poor shooting in loss to No. 3 Kansas," 3 Feb. 2020 My New Year's resolution is to be more optimistic by keeping my cup half-full ... Hannah Jeon, Good Housekeeping, "48 Best New Year's Instagram Captions for All Your Confetti-Filled Party Photos," 26 Nov. 2019 Here are three reasons why: Hoosiers fumble first halfIndiana (12-3, 2-2) looked sharp early, offensively if not defensively. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU defense slams door on Northwestern. Is this a turning point for the Hoosiers?," 9 Jan. 2020 Winter was half-over, and Orla had barely buttoned her coat. Megan Angelo, Glamour, "An Exclusive Look at Megan Angelo's Debut Novel, Followers," 27 Dec. 2019 Given that, up to half decide to have prophylactic mastectomies, and many have ovaries removed, too. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "'Polygenic' profile could better predict disease risk for those with cancer mutations," 17 Dec. 2019 Tanner Quirk, who plays Charlotte's Prince is half-Chinese, according to The New York Times. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "New York City Ballet's 'Nutcracker' has cast a black Marie for the first time," 4 Dec. 2019 The Chiefs started the second half hot, scoring on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Palhegyi to Jackson Marseille. Adam Lichtenstein, sun-sentinel.com, "Cardinal Gibbons recovers from early deficit to beat U-School in Class 4A regional semis," 16 Nov. 2019 The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket dropped down to $138.93 ($60 in savings), and The North Face Descendit Insulated Jacket is half off, bringing the price to $135. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "REI's winter sports sale has some great finds for everyone," 25 Oct. 2019

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


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


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


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

History and Etymology for half

Noun, Adjective, and Adverb

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

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Time Traveler for half

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for half

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Half.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for half


How to pronounce half (audio)

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 time when the first half of a game ends

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



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


\ ˈhaf How to pronounce half (audio) , 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.

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.



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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More from Merriam-Webster on half

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for half

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with half

Spanish Central: Translation of half

Nglish: Translation of half for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of half for Arabic Speakers

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