- 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.
- 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. Word Origin Old English half, healf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch half and German halb (adjectives). The earliest meaning of the Germanic base was
30 minutes after any hour on the clock