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

Despite being at a barbecue surrounded by dozens of witnesses at the time of the murder, McMillian was convicted in a trial that lasted a day and a half and spent six years on death row. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Jamie Foxx in Talks to Join Michael B. Jordan in Legal Drama 'Just Mercy'," 13 July 2018 After a day and a half, he was released, and now only has a red entry mark and a lot of sore muscles to show for his brush with danger, KMGH reported. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "Girlfriend revives boyfriend after lightning strike: 'You’re not allowed to leave yet'," 10 July 2018 Phoenix police said officers tracked the suspect over the past day and a half and were attempting to make contact with him Monday morning at an Extended Stay America hotel. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Prominent forensic psychiatrist killed in Arizona has Michigan ties," 4 June 2018 The announcers were having some fun with the kick rating it as a four and a half. Joseph Spears, Indianapolis Star, "Metta World Peace ejected from game after punting the ball into the crowd," 13 July 2018 Other neutrino detectors have been built a mile and a half beneath the Mediterranean Sea off the French coast and more than a kilometer below Lake Baikal in southeastern Russia. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 But over the past year and a half, Atencio and his colleagues have found that going green is easier said than done. Justin Worland/pueblo, Time, "How One Industrial City Is Fighting to Go Green," 12 July 2018 Over a season and a half (1985-86), Whitson pitched terribly, reacted poorly and experienced a torrent of abuse, including death threats. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "New York has been a nightmare for Sonny Gray," 12 July 2018 As the euphoria over the earth-shaking news has gradually subsided over the last week and a half, a vital question has emerged from the background and come into greater focus. Dylan Hernandez, latimes.com, "On the Lakers’ road back to greatness with LeBron, the hardest steps may still lie ahead," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Instructions suggest using half an ounce (a tablespoon) in a drink. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Give Your Seltzer a Refresh," 2 July 2018 In a highball glass, mix together two teaspoons of white sugar with half an ounce of lime juice. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "The Best Summer Cocktails," 27 June 2018 Add half the milk and beat (medium speed) until well blended. Becky Krystal, Houston Chronicle, "This classic coffee cake is what good mornings are made of," 18 June 2018 Liu submitted their paper describing a way to fix half the disease-causing single base snafus to Nature the Thursday before Columbus Day 2017. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Inside a Chemist’s Quest to Hack Evolution and Cure Genetic Disease," 12 June 2018 Mayday sends packages of letters that take over half a year, and has pulled off exactly one successful attack in the course of the show. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale': Season 2, Episode 13 Recap: 19 Startling Moments in 'The Word'," 11 July 2018 Over in Mesa, areas north of the U.S. 60 saw amounts ranging from half an inch to an inch of rain. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "Cleanup after severe storm sweeps through Phoenix area," 9 July 2018 Chevrolet had half the field -- 20 Camaros, 13 Ford Mustangs, and seven Toyota Camrys. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Patriotism gets big boost at Daytona," 8 July 2018 One of them is Simone Gorrindo, 34, who’s lived with IC for half her life. Simone Gorrindo, The Cut, "Living With a Disease That Feels Like a Never-ending UTI," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 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

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

19 Oct 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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