half

noun
\ 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

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

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 The minute-and-a-half-long surveillance footage takes place at an apartment complex in North Hollywood where Saweetie lived. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Saweetie & Quavo Speak Out About Elevator Physical Altercation Caught On Video," 5 Apr. 2021 Gonzaga led sixth-seeded USC 7-0 after two minutes, 25-8 after 8:30 and 36-15 after Kispert took a nifty dish from Timme for an easy layup with 6:03 left in the half. Eddie Pells, ajc, "Quite a show: Zags stay undefeated with 85-66 win over USC," 31 Mar. 2021 Gonzaga leads 13-4 when official Bert Smith goes down with 15:44 left in the half – less than two minutes after Ayayi went down, by the way – and the delay lasts about five minutes. Gregg Doyel, The Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Gonzaga-USC was best game ever -- referee Bert Smith got to hear ovation of a lifetime," 31 Mar. 2021 Then, Edmondson scored her first goal with 13:21 left in the half to take a 4-0 advantage. Kyle J. Andrews, baltimoresun.com, "McDonogh girls lacrosse pulls away in second half to defeat Bryn Mawr, 10-6, in matchup of 4-0 teams," 31 Mar. 2021 The flip side to that, the glass-half-full viewpoint, is that while each of those other teams has glaring, demonstrable deficiencies, maybe — just maybe — the Jazz are viewed as a more complete and well-rounded group? Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Buy, sell, or stand pat? Which option makes the most sense for the Utah Jazz at the NBA trade deadline?," 23 Mar. 2021 Mikolic’s glass-half-full optimism may not work for everyone, said Dr. Joseph Varley, chair of the psychiatry department at Summa Health. Julie Washington, cleveland, "‘Try to focus on the blessing’: Concord woman keeps positive thoughts despite long-haul coronavirus — Coping Through Covid," 15 Jan. 2021 The longtime radio and TV personality, most recently with WXYT-FM (97.1), who also wrote for freep.com, died last August at the age of 48 after a year-and-a-half-long fight with colon cancer. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Free Press' Mick McCabe named Michigan sports writer of the year," 12 Jan. 2021 That’s more of a glass-half-full — or glass-overflowing — approach. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Bears Q&A: Is this team poised for a Cinderella run? Are the front office and coaches safe now, or will the Packers game swing decisions? Is Dwayne Haskins worth a look?," 30 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But Woldesenbet immediately sped off, making it about a half-mile into the installation before he was stopped at a parking lot by the base’s police force. baltimoresun.com, "Gunman who shot two sailors near Maryland military base was assigned to Naval medical research center," 7 Apr. 2021 But Woldesenbet immediately sped off, making it about a half-mile into the installation before he was stopped at a parking lot by the base's police force. Robert Burns And Michael Kunzelman, Star Tribune, "Medic who shot 2 in Maryland was assigned to medical research center," 7 Apr. 2021 But Woldesenbet immediately sped off, making it about a half-mile into the installation before he was stopped at a parking lot by the base's police force. CBS News, "New details emerge about Navy medic who shot 2 sailors before being killed by police," 7 Apr. 2021 But Woldesenbet immediately sped off, making it about a half-mile into the installation before he was stopped at a parking lot by the base’s police force. Matthew Barakat, Anchorage Daily News, "Navy medic shoots 2 sailors before he is shot and killed on Maryland base," 6 Apr. 2021 The new fissure, first spotted by a sightseeing helicopter, is about 100 to 500 meters (330 to 1,600 feet) long and lies about a kilometer (around a half-mile) from the original eruption site in the Geldingadalur valley. David Bressan, Forbes, "New Fissure With Lava Fountains Opens At Icelandic Volcano," 5 Apr. 2021 The suspect, who has not been identified because of his age, was taken into custody at a home about a half-mile from where the shooting happened, according to the Henrico Citizen. Fox News, "Virginia girl's shocking shooting death leads to arrest of teen suspect," 28 Mar. 2021 Earlier this month, medical genetics company Invitae leased around 40,000 square feet of lab and office space at 444 De Haro St. in Potrero Hill, about a half-mile west of the Exchange. Roland Li, San Francisco Chronicle, "Dropbox subleases S.F. HQ to second biotech firm, reports nearly $400 million loss on real estate," 23 Mar. 2021 The house was about a half-mile east of the Naval Observatory site and the vice president’s residence. Washington Post, "Huge blaze collapses big house in Northwest Washington, officials say," 24 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Then replace their negative influence on your thinking with people whose glass is half-full. Womensmedia, Forbes, "How To Step Out Of Negativity: 7 Tips," 9 Mar. 2021 This discrepancy comes from 62% efficacy rates in the first trial group, which received two full doses of the vaccine, but 90% efficacy rates in the second group, which received a half-sized first dose and a full-sized second dose. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, "Prince William Speaks with Oxford Researchers About COVID-19 Vaccine," 23 Nov. 2020 Well, there’s the glass half-full my friend, right there. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Navigating the pandemic: Carroll County government dealt with ‘unprecedented’ COVID-19 challenges in 2020," 27 Dec. 2020 My New Year's resolution is to be more optimistic by keeping my cup half-full ... With either rum, vodka, or whiskey. Hannah Jeon, Good Housekeeping, "72 Best New Year's Instagram Captions to Help You Ring in 2021 With All the Likes," 15 Dec. 2020 Andy Erikson's comedy act is all about seeing the glass half-full — then pouring in enough bubbly to reach the rim. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "Her heart stopped, but this Minnesota comedian bounced back: 'This is my second life.'," 10 Dec. 2020 We are told lives have been saved by keeping the churches half-empty. Matthew Hennessey, WSJ, "No More Bishop Nice Guy," 8 Dec. 2020 The Cardinals are rolling on offense, and their defense isn’t half bad. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Times’ Sam Farmer predicts Cardinals-Seahawks winner for Thursday NFL game," 18 Nov. 2020 Other than that, the Texas chain’s best-selling snack isn’t half bad. Anastacia Uriegas, Chron, "Totally tacky Texas gifts for the Texan in your life," 17 Nov. 2020

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, Adjective, and Adverb

Middle English, from Old English healf; akin to Old High German halb half

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Time Traveler for half

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for half

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Half.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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 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 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.

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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More from Merriam-Webster on half

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for half

Nglish: Translation of half for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of half for Arabic Speakers

Comments on half

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