\ ˈhaf How to pronounce half (audio) , ˈhäf \
plural halves\ ˈhavz How to pronounce half (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 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



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

Other Words from half


halfness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for half

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On Saturday, August 6, the bar will have its final night — the final drag performance and final drinks for the 14-and-a-half-year-old gay bar. Madison Smalstig, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Aug. 2022 Chauvin is currently serving a 22-and-a-half-year sentence after being found guilty of murdering Floyd. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 21 July 2022 After a two-and-a-half-year spell when local headlines were often filled with landmark restaurant closures, it’s a small relief to suddenly be inundated with so many openings. oregonlive, 12 July 2022 A few weeks ago, on the way to a vacation, my wife and I stopped to visit my 101-and-a-half-year-old father. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 June 2022 Bucklew's two-and-a-half-year tour in Korea ended in July of 1958. cincinnati.com, 26 May 2022 The property was eventually purchased by Naouri in 2017, who along with Eric Choi at Maison d’Artiste and in collaboration with Studio Tim Campbell, set about on the four-and-a-half-year restoration with impressive results. Spencer Elliott, Forbes, 19 May 2022 During the course of the three-and-a-half-year process, there were some thoughts about what this standout space could become; at one point, there was talk about it being rented to the Danish Embassy. Sandra Ramani, Robb Report, 10 May 2022 The wedding was finally confirmed for the end of October 2021 after a 2-and-a-half-year postponement, and the events were captured beautifully by photographer Braedon Flynn. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Don't fret; guests at the Inn can book the half-day Cape Escape Couples Retreat, which includes an exclusive spa suite complete with a soaking tub, and 90-minute massages enhanced by proprietary aromatherapy blends. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 29 July 2022 Designing Women, the CBS half-hour comedy created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, followed four women — played by Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts and Smart — and their decorating business. Hilton Dresden, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 July 2022 Andrea Connolly, a spokeswoman for cargo-handler TraPac LLC, said protesters on Tuesday barred short-haul truckers from entering the facility and only allowed long-haul drivers in at a rate of three trucks per half-hour. Paul Berger, WSJ, 19 July 2022 To be sure, the menu cuts have also included indulgent items such as the McChicken biscuit and a bacon, egg and cheese bagel that had more than 500 calories and half-a-day’s worth of salt. Leslie Patton And Bloomberg, Fortune, 9 June 2022 The rigorous training schedule runs from 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on days two through six, and a half day on the first and last days. Joe Cummings, CNN, 2 Nov. 2021 In total, the team’s four drivers racked up nearly a half-dozen notable instances of contact over the final 25 laps of Sunday’s race. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 6 July 2022 Those singles spawned the half-a-dozen platinum records lovingly framed and hung on the wall behind Alexakis in his new studio. Niko Stratis, SPIN, 14 June 2022 Reacting to The Avengers by prioritizing half-a-dozen films within a single theoretical franchise is a very different one. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Last year, Boeing moved all 787 production from the Seattle area to South Carolina, leaving its massive unionized factory in the Seattle suburb of Everett half-empty. Joe Walsh, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The Main Room late show on Saturday night was just under half full. Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2022 Last Quarter Moon, when the Moon is half-lit and rising after midnight. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 5 June 2022 Joe Louis Arena was half-full as season-ticket holders waited for the Red Wings to appear. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, 9 June 2022 For the occasion, George twinned his dad, William, in a navy suit and tie, while Charlotte looked sweetly summery in white with her hair half-braided, and Louis wore a simple navy polo shirt—a go-to look for the Cambridge kids. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 5 June 2022 With widespread refinancing, four in five mortgage-holders today have an interest rate under 5 percent (half have a rate at 4 percent or lower). New York Times, 27 May 2022 Yumi Nu will be releasing her Hajime EP later this month, and its cover finds the Japanese-American artist-model half-submerged in a body of water, seemingly searching in the brush to her side. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, 9 May 2022 The video will be updated only at the end of each half-inning and players can go back and replay, but may not see content during a half-inning in progress. Ronald Blum, chicagotribune.com, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About half

Time Traveler for half

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near half




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for half

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Half.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for half


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on half

Nglish: Translation of half for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of half for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!