Definition of half noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//hɑːf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hæf//
    (pl. halves
    BrE BrE//hɑːvz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hævz//
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  1. 1  either of two equal parts into which something is or can be divided two and a half kilos (=) One and a half hours are allowed for the exam. An hour and a half is allowed for the exam. The second half of the book is more exciting. I've divided the money in half. We'll need to reduce the weight by half. Grammar Pointhalf / whole / quarter Quarter, half and whole can all be nouns:Cut the apple into quarters. Two halves make a whole. Whole is also an adjective:I’ve been waiting here for a whole hour. Half is also a determiner:Half (of) the work is already finished. They spent half the time looking for a parking space. Her house is half a mile down the road. Note that you do not put a or the in front of half when it is used in this way:I waited for half an hour I waited for a half an hour. Half can also be used as an adverb:This meal is only half cooked. see also halve
  2. 2  either of two periods of time into which a sports game, concert, etc. is divided No goals were scored in the first half.
  3. 3= half back see also centre half, scrum half
  4. 4(British English, informal) half a pint of beer or a similar drink Two halves of bitter, please. More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet.
  5. Word OriginOld English half, healf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch half and German halb (adjectives). The earliest meaning of the Germanic base was ‘side’, also a noun sense in Old English.Extra examples Costs rose by a half. Cut the remaining half into large chunks. He played well in the second half of the match. Over a half of all accidents happen in the home. Over a half of all the people interviewed said they were disappointed in the government. She’s four and a half years old now. We divided the money in half. We split the work half and half. You’ll have to ask my other half. in the latter half of the 19th century the first half of the concert the left half of the brain the lower half of the window the northern half of the country the rear half of the carIdioms (informal) bigger, better, more important, etc. than usual That was a game and a half!
    do nothing/not do anything by halves
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    to do whatever you do completely and thoroughly You're expecting twins? Well, you never did do anything by halves.
    go half and half, go halves (with somebody)
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    to share the cost of something equally with somebody We go halves on all the bills.
    used in negative sentences to say that a situation is worse or more complicated than somebody thinks ‘It sounds very difficult.’ ‘You don't know the half of it.’
      have a good mind to do something, have half a mind to do something
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    1. 1used to say that you think you will do something, although you are not sure I've half a mind to come with you tomorrow.
    2. 2used to say that you disapprove of what somebody has done and should do something about it, although you probably will not I've a good mind to write and tell your parents about it.
    how the other half lives
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    the way of life of a different social group, especially one much richer than you
    it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other
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    (saying) used to say that there is not much real difference between two possible choices
    one and a half times the usual rate of pay We get time and a half on Sundays. see also double time
    too clever, etc. by half
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    (British English, informal, disapproving) clever, etc. in a way that annoys you or makes you suspicious
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: half