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



    BrE BrE//hɑːf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//hæf//
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  1. 1  to the extent of half The glass was half full.
  2. 2  partly The chicken was only half cooked. half-closed eyes I'm half inclined to agree. 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.
  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.Extra examples His left eye was half closed. I half expected them to follow us. I was still half asleep. She is half Italian. The bottle was only half full. The child looked half starved. The result was not half as bad as expected.Idioms
    half as many, much, etc. again (British English) (US English half again as much)
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    an increase of 50% of the existing number or amount Spending on health is half as much again as it was in 2009.
    (British English, informal) used to emphasize a statement or an opinion It wasn't half good (= it was very good). ‘Was she annoyed?’ ‘Not half!’ (= she was extremely annoyed)
    not half as, not half such a
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    not nearly He is not half such a fool as they think.
    (informal) (used to show surprise) not bad at all; good It really isn't half bad, is it?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: half