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

Both properties went through a year and a half of renovations. Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY, "Hotel renovations: Properties in Los Angeles, Dallas and San Francisco get major upgrades," 13 July 2018 The Hollywood Reporter reports that after Marvel met with more than 70 potential directors over the last year and a half, Australian director Cate Shortland emerged the victor. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Marvel's Black Widow Movie Will Have a Female Director," 13 July 2018 The movie hit theaters in December 2012, barely a year and a half later. Travis M. Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "The Thai cave rescue is being made into a movie. As Hollywood's history shows, this was inevitable," 13 July 2018 The East Oak Street Nortenos, a new subset of the Nortenos gang that has had a presence in Stockton since the 1970s, has been on law enforcement's radar for the past year and a half, said Officer Joseph Silva of the Stockton Police Department. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Data-driven policing leads to gang arrests in 3 Stockton homicides," 21 June 2018 The startup Vavilov founded in Amsterdam and Nebesny joined after designing an energy-saving chip in a Kiev kitchen has sold more than 100 BlockBoxes in the last year and a half. Ilya Khrennikov, Bloomberg.com, "Million-Dollar Box Conjures Up a Fortune for Bitcoin Visionary," 19 June 2018 Then again, change is the new normal inside the franchise, which has added more than 50 employees in the past year and a half, including seven new vice presidents. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "Could A’s changing times signal end to Billy Beane era?," 18 June 2018 Both halves of the duo realize this, as their respective mile-long stares signal. refinery29.com, "Is Younger Setting The Stage For A Liza-Josh Reunion?," 11 July 2018 About three and a half years ago, Coutts said Youssefi approached him about doing a conservation report for the Tower mural, which would evaluate the state of the artwork and what would need to be done to restore it. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Iconic Tower Records mural in downtown is getting a little love," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In addition to offering prospective buyers breathtaking views of downtown Los Angeles, the historic home, which occupies a half-acre lot on the hillside, features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a screening/billiard room, a guest house and a pool. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Famous Blade Runner House Listed for $23 Million: See the Photos!," 12 July 2018 The menu climaxes with two large-format dishes meant to be shared, accompanied by a half-dozen banchan—seaweed, sweet potato salad, radish and cabbage kimchis. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Andersonville’s Passerotto is a tale of two peninsulas," 21 June 2018 The expansive brick house, about 6,500 square feet in size, sits on a more than half-acre property at 45th Street and Folsom Boulevard in East Sacramento. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Fab 40s house featured in 'Lady Bird' on the market for $3.9 million | The Sacramento Bee," 12 May 2018 For home buyers, the community features on-site Realtors to assist residents in finding a move-in ready home on spacious acre lots or low maintenance lots less than a half acre. Houston Chronicle, "Community Open House set for Vintage Oaks," 6 Apr. 2018 Each home has a minimum of a half-acre lot and prices start in the high $600,000 range. Pat Setter, sandiegouniontribune.com, "2018 goals: Find yourself in a new home for the new year," 13 Jan. 2018 Under Barack Obama, the approach to the region had focussed on reversing a half century of antagonism toward Cuba. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration," 19 May 2018 Since those Final Four runs, Butler has embarked on $255 million worth of improvements for the university’s largest capital expansion in a half-century. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: What is March Madness worth to Butler? Maybe its identity," 15 Mar. 2018 Lessons from a half-century ago still resonate today, as Jubilee Theatre’s latest production makes clear. Jeremy Hallock, star-telegram, "Race riots. Motown. Jubilee revisits the long, hot summer of ’67," 1 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 Stephanie is half-crying, Anthony’s giant smile lights up the room, our hearts are full. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "Thinking Of Getting Engaged? Do It In Front Of Taylor Swift," 14 July 2018 In the security camera video, the hooded and masked man can be seen approaching a BMW sitting in stopped traffic and firing three shots at point blank range through the driver’s side window, which was half-opened and smashed by a bullet. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Police searching for gunman who shot at driver 3 times while she sat in traffic," 10 July 2018 Whether one traces his Americanism back three centuries to the Mayflower, or three years of the steerage, is not half so important as whether his Americanism of to-day is real and genuine. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "For His Patriotic Birthday, Five Facts About Calvin Coolidge," 2 July 2018 The North is known to have used VX in the assassination of Mr. Kim’s half-brother last year, though analysts have few clues on the scale of North Korea’s reserves of such agents. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "Step One in Disarming North Korea: Knowing What’s in Kim’s Arsenal," 8 June 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

21 Sep 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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