half-assed

adjective
\ ˈhaf-ˈast How to pronounce half-assed (audio) , ˈhäf-ˈäst \
variants: or less commonly half-ass \ ˈhaf-​ˈas How to pronounce half-assed (audio) , ˈhäf-​ˈäs \

Definition of half-assed

1 slang, often vulgar : lacking significance, adequacy, or completeness … a half-assed attempt at generative semantics.— James D. McCawley Note how they want and get full credit for every little half-ass act of generosity they perform.— George Garrett Several jets were indeed clogged, and it took about five minutes to do a half-assed job of cleaning them out, good enough to get them through until tomorrow and a more thorough cleaning.— Richard Russo
2 slang, often vulgar : lacking intelligence, character, or effectiveness … said that the Administration had no intention of allowing "a bunch of half-assed people to send foreigners into combat."— Seymour M. Hersh … had been beaten up by every half-assed bully all through his miserable childhood …— Joseph Wambaugh

Other Words from half-assed

half-assed or less commonly half-ass adverb, slang, often vulgar
It takes most of the day to get the job finished, and we work long after I think we ought to have called it finished, but my father's a perfectionist, and we can't do anything half-assed — Stephen Stark He missed the days when her toenails were half-ass painted, done while they sat together on the couch and watched sitcoms … — Thelma Adams

First Known Use of half-assed

circa 1932, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about half-assed

Time Traveler for half-assed

Time Traveler

The first known use of half-assed was circa 1932

See more words from the same year

Statistics for half-assed

Cite this Entry

“Half-assed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half-assed. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for half-assed

half-assed

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of half-assed

informal + impolite
: poorly done or planned
: stupid or foolish

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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