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
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
half-assed adverb
or less commonly half-ass
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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1932, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of half-assed was circa 1932

Dictionary Entries Near half-assed

Cite this Entry

“Half-assed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half-assed. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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