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one of two equal or approximately equal parts of a divisible whole, as an object, or unit of measure or time; a part of a whole equal or almost equal to the remainder.
a quantity or amount equal to such a part (½).
Sports. either of two equal periods of play, usually with an intermission or rest period separating them.
Compare quarter (def 10).
one of two; a part of a pair.

half dollar.
the sum of 50 cents:
Four dimes and two nickels make a half.

Baseball. either of the two units of play into which an inning is divided, the visiting team batting in the first unit and the home team batting in the second.
Football. a halfback.
British Informal.

a half-crown coin.
the sum of a half crown; two shillings, sixpence.
a half pint:
He ordered a half of ale.

being one of two equal or approximately equal parts of a divisible whole:
a half quart.
being half or about half of anything in degree, amount, length, etc.:
at half speed; half sleeve.
partial or incomplete:
half measures.
in or to the extent or measure of half.
in part; partly; incompletely:
half understood.
to some extent; almost:
half recovered.
by half, by very much; by far:
She was too talented by half for her routine role.
half again as much / many, as much as 50 percent more:
This mug holds half again as much coffee as the smaller one.
half in two, Southern U.S. (chiefly Gulf States) . in or into two parts; in half:
Cut the cake half in two.
in half, divided into halves:
The vase broke in half.
not half,

not at all; not really:
His first attempts at painting are not half bad.
half (def 15).

not the half of, a significant yet relatively minor part of something that remains to be described in full:
He accused them of being responsible for the error, and that’s not the half of the story.
Also, not half of, not half.
Contemporary Examples

Let the Awards Season Begin Rachel Syme January 6, 2009
‘Gods of Suburbia’: Dina Goldstein’s Arresting Photo Series on Religion vs. Consumerism Dina Goldstein November 7, 2014
The Return of Rev. Wright Michael Tomasky May 16, 2012
Did Israel Execute Jihadists in Gaza? Jesse Rosenfeld September 6, 2014
Peter King: I Did My Best to Fight the Cruz Crazies Michael Daly September 30, 2013

Historical Examples

The Manxman Hall Caine
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
The Gun Philip K. Dick
Punchinello, Vol. 1. No. 20, August 13, 1870 Various
Olive in Italy Moray Dalton

noun (pl) halves (hɑːvz)

either of two equal or corresponding parts that together comprise a whole
a quantity equalling such a part: half a dozen

half a pint, esp of beer
(Scot) a small drink of spirits, esp whisky
(sport) the half of the pitch regarded as belonging to one team
(golf) an equal score on a hole or round with an opponent
(in various games) either of two periods of play separated by an interval (the first half and second half)
a half-price ticket on a bus, train, etc
short for half-hour
short for halfpenny (sense 1)
(sport) short for halfback
(obsolete) a half-year period
(jocular) better half, a person’s wife or husband
by half, by an excessive amount or to an excessive degree: he’s too arrogant by half
(used with a negative) by halves, without being thorough or exhaustive: we don’t do things by halves
go halves, often foll by on, in, etc

to share the expenses (of something with one other person)
to share the whole amount (of something with another person): to go halves on an orange


being a half or approximately a half: half the kingdom
(as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): half of them came

not perfect or complete; partial: he only did a half job on it
to the amount or extent of a half
to a great amount or extent
partially; to an extent
(informal) half two, 30 minutes after two o’clock
have half a mind to, to have the intention of
(informal) not half

not in any way: he’s not half clever enough
(Brit) really; very; indeed: he isn’t half stupid
certainly; yes, indeed

half a heart, with
half a loaf is better than none
half a mind
half of it
half the battle


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