half-heart·​ed ˈhaf-ˈhär-təd How to pronounce half-hearted (audio)
variants or halfhearted
: lacking heart, spirit, or interest
a half-hearted effort
halfhearted applause
half-heartedly adverb
or halfheartedly
half-heartedness noun
or halfheartedness

Examples of half-hearted in a Sentence

a halfhearted attempt to clean the house before the arrival of the in-laws
Recent Examples on the Web There are some clumsy, half-hearted escape attempts. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 6 May 2024 This day, laden with expectation and excitement, deserves more than a half-hearted card or a generic box of chocolates. Cristian Esteban, Rolling Stone, 7 Feb. 2024 So far, post-credits teasers bridging Sony’s spin-offs to Disney’s own continuity via interdimensional travel have been seen as half-hearted and, ultimately, unsuccessful. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 29 Jan. 2024 The chiding between the two plays like a half-hearted version of Taika Waititi snark. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 21 Dec. 2023 No hybrid-shoe drag or half-hearted attempts to traverse iffy terrain here. Isaiah Freeman-Schub, Robb Report, 7 Dec. 2023 Nobody on screen is giving a half-hearted effort or going through the motions. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 5 Nov. 2023 For their part, Mal and May made half-hearted efforts at percussion. Jordan Runtagh, Peoplemag, 31 Oct. 2023 His half-hearted attempt to apologize on a celebrity talk show only digs him in deeper. Peter Debruge, Variety, 20 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'half-hearted.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of half-hearted was in 1579

Dictionary Entries Near half-hearted

Cite this Entry

“Half-hearted.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half-hearted. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


half·​heart·​ed -ˈhärt-əd How to pronounce halfhearted (audio)
: lacking spirit or interest
halfhearted applause from the audience
halfheartedly adverb
halfheartedness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on half-hearted

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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