synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of half in English

English Online Dictionary. What means half‎? What does half mean?

  • 'arf, ha'f
  • halfe (obsolete)

From Middle English half, halfe from Old English healf (half); as a noun, 'half', 'side', 'part', from Proto-West Germanic *halb, from Proto-Germanic *halbaz.

  • (Received Pronunciation, Northern England, Wales) IPA(key): /hɑːf/
  • (General Australian, New Zealand) IPA(key): /hɐːf/
Rhymes: -ɑːf
  • (General American, Canada) IPA(key): /hæf/
  • (New York City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Baltimore) IPA(key): /hɛəf/
  • (Ireland, Scotland) IPA(key): /haf/, /häf/
Rhymes: -æf

half (plural halves)

  1. One of two usually roughly equal parts into which anything may be divided, or considered as divided.
    1. (sports) One of two equal periods into which a game is divided.
      Coordinate term: quarter
    2. (sports) One of the two opposite parts of the playing field of various sports, in which each starts the game.
  2. Half of a standard measure, chiefly:
    1. (British) half a pint of beer or cider. (Refusing a pint) Just a half, thank you. (Offering to top up a pint glass) Do you want a half in that? (Minimizing the amount of drink taken) A swift half at the Pear Tree.
    2. (liquor trade) A barrel measure of 27 gallons (half a hogshead).
  3. (preceded by “a” or a number) The fraction obtained by dividing 1 by 2.
    Synonym: ½
  4. Any of the three terms at Eton College, for Michaelmas, Lent, and summer.
  5. (slang) A half sibling.
  6. (UK, dated) A child ticket. Two and a half to Paddington.
  7. (sports) abbreviated form for half marathon.
  8. (numismatic slang) Clipping of half-dollar.

half (not comparable)

  1. Consisting of a half (½, 50%).
    Synonyms: semi-, hemi-, demi-
  2. Consisting of some indefinite portion resembling a half; approximately a half, whether more or less; partial; imperfect.
  3. (of a sibling) Having one parent (rather than two) in common.
  4. (of a relative other than a sibling) Related through one common grandparent or ancestor rather than two.
  • (consisting of a half): The adjective and noun are often united to form a compound, half-hour.

See also those listed at Category:English terms prefixed with half-.

  • Fiji Hindi: haafaa
  • Hawaiian: hapa
    • English: hapa
  • Japanese: ハーフ (hāfu)
    • English: hafu
  • Maori: hāwhe
  • Pitjantjatjara: aapa

half (not comparable)

  1. In two equal parts or to an equal degree.
  2. In some part approximating a half.
  3. Partially; imperfectly.
  4. Practically, nearly.
  • (approximating a half): The phrase half again expresses an amount in addition to the amount being compared to. E.g., half as many people refers to 50% of the original number, while half again as many people refers to 150% of the original number.
  • (partially; imperfectly): halfly (obsolete)
  • not half

half (third-person singular simple present halves, present participle halving, simple past and past participle halved)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To halve.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:bisect


  1. (UK, Ireland) Half past; a half-hour (30 minutes) after the last hour.
    Synonym: (North America, Australia) half past
  2. (Discuss(+) this sense) (rare, see usage notes) A half-hour to (preceding) the next hour.

In English, the first sense (half past) is the only sense in current use. The second sense (half-hour before) is almost exclusively used in reference to other cultural or linguistic backgrounds where a similar usage exists.


  1. (theater) A call reminding performers that the performance will begin in thirty minutes.
  • “half”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.

From Middle Dutch half, from Old Dutch *half, from Proto-West Germanic *halb, from Proto-Germanic *halbaz.

Cognate with English half, German halb, West Frisian heal, Danish halv.

  • IPA(key): /ɦɑlf/
  • Hyphenation: half
  • Rhymes: -ɑlf

half (not comparable)

  1. half
  2. (with numbers) half before the next whole
    half tien
    half past nine (i.e. half of the tenth hour)
    one and a half (half before two, with ander originally meaning second)
  3. (with months) the middle of that month
    half maart
  • Berbice Creole Dutch: halfu
  • Negerhollands: half
  • ? Sranan Tongo: afu (dated)
    • Aukan: aloefoe
    • Saramaccan: háfu, áfu
  • IPA(key): /half/


  1. first/third-person singular preterite of helfen

From Old English healf, half, from Proto-West Germanic *halb, from Proto-Germanic *halbaz.

half (plural halves or halfes or halven)

  1. half
  2. part; side; behalf
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wyclif to this entry?)
  • halfe, halph, alf, alfe, hælf, healf, healfe, elf, haf, hafe, halve, alve, hælve, helve


  1. half
  • healf (Early Middle English)


  1. half
  • elf
  • English: half (see there for further descendants)
  • Scots: hauf
  • Yola: halleef, halef, halluf
  • “half, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  • “half, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  • “half, adv.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.

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