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



    determiner, pronoun
    BrE BrE//hɑːf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hæf//
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  1. 1  an amount equal to half of something/somebody half an hour Half (of) the fruit was bad. Half of the money was mine. He has a half share in the company. Out of 36 candidates, half passed. 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. Language BankproportionDescribing fractions and proportions According to this pie chart, a third of students’ leisure time is spent watching TV. One in five hours is/​are spent socializing. Socializing accounts for/makes up/comprises about 20% of leisure time. Students spend twice as much time playing computer games as doing sport. Three times as many hours are spent playing computer games as reading. The figure for playing computer games is three times higher than the figure for reading. The largest proportion of time is spent playing computer games.
  2. 2half the time, fun, trouble, etc. the largest part of something Half the fun of gardening is never knowing exactly what's going to come up. Half the time you don't even listen to what I say.
  3. 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.Idioms
    half a loaf is better than no bread
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    (saying) you should be grateful for something, even if it is not as good, much, etc. as you really wanted; something is better than nothing
    half a minute, second, etc.
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    (informal) a short time Hang on. I'll be ready in half a minute.
    half past one, two, etc. (also British English, informal half one, two, etc.)
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     30 minutes after any hour on the clock
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: half