half·​time | \ ˈhaf-ˌtīm How to pronounce halftime (audio) , ˈhäf- \

Definition of halftime

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an intermission between halves of a game or contest (as in football or basketball)


\ ˈhaf-ˌtīm How to pronounce half-time (audio) , ˈhäf- \

Definition of half-time (Entry 2 of 2)

: involving or working half the standard hours

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Other Words from halftime


half-time adverb

Examples of halftime in a Sentence

Noun The score was tied at halftime. The coaches discussed strategy during halftime.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Henry went to the bench with 6:45 left in the first half after getting called for a second foul and scoring nine points, leading to the Buckeyes leading 38-33 at halftime. cleveland, "Michigan State beats No. 4 Ohio State basketball 71-67, improves NCAA resume," 26 Feb. 2021 Arizona stayed within one possession of the Cougars throughout most of the first half, taking a 28-24 lead at halftime only after scoring twice in the last 40 seconds on layups by Akinjo and Dalen Terry. Bruce Pascoe, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Wildcats basketball's defense shines in win over Washington State," 26 Feb. 2021 Red Oak, ranked No. 19 in the state, led by one at halftime and outscored No. 25 Highland Park 27-22 in the second half. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Girls basketball playoffs: Plano East rolls past state No. 5 Arlington Martin; SGP rallies to beat Plano," 25 Feb. 2021 Detroit led by five at halftime, but was outscored 32-22 in the fourth quarter. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Where the Detroit Pistons' youth movement showed promise in loss to New Orleans Pelicans," 25 Feb. 2021 Eads scored five points in the final minute of the second quarter, including a 3-pointer after McCarthy pulled down a defensive rebound, to give Wekiva the lead for good at 33-28 at halftime. J.c. Carnahan, orlandosentinel.com, "Wekiva outlasts Winter Haven to reach FHSAA girls basketball state championship game," 25 Feb. 2021 Jordan Bruner then caught fire and made a barrage of three-pointers that cut Arkansas’ lead to 39-38 at halftime. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Alabama’s loss to Arkansas just a lot of smoke," 25 Feb. 2021 California led 33-28 at halftime after the Beavers played from behind from the first possession. oregonlive, "Oregon State wins for the first time in Berkeley since 2009, edges California 59-57," 25 Feb. 2021 Thomas had 24 at halftime, added 14 in the third quarter and 13 in the fourth, scoring her 50th and 51st points on free throws with 45 seconds to play. Michael Lerseth, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sacred Heart Cathedral alum IImar'I Thomas scores school-record 51 for Cincinnati," 25 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'halftime.' 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 halftime


1871, in the meaning defined above


1861, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for halftime

Time Traveler

The first known use of halftime was in 1861

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Statistics for halftime

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Halftime.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halftime. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for halftime



English Language Learners Definition of halftime

: the period of rest between the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half in games like football and basketball


half·​time | \ ˈhaf-ˌtīm How to pronounce halftime (audio) , ˈhäf- \

Kids Definition of halftime

: a period of rest between the halves of a game (as basketball)

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