See also: half- and hálf-

English

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English numbers (edit)
 ←  1 2 3  → 
    Cardinal: two
    Ordinal: second
    Latinate ordinal: secondary
    Reverse order ordinal: second to last, second from last, last but one
    Latinate reverse order ordinal: penultimate
    Adverbial: two times, twice
    Multiplier: twofold
    Latinate multiplier: double
    Distributive: doubly
    Group collective: both, pair, twosome
    Multipart collective: doublet, couple, couplet
    Greek or Latinate collective: dyad
    Metric collective prefix: double-
    Greek collective prefix: di-, duo-
    Latinate collective prefix: bi-
    Fractional: half
    Metric fractional prefix: demi-
    Latinate fractional prefix: semi-
    Greek fractional prefix: hemi-
    Elemental: twin, doublet
    Greek prefix: deutero-
    Number of musicians: duo, duet, duplet
    Number of years: biennium

Alternative forms

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Etymology

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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.

Pronunciation

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Rhymes: -ɑːf
Rhymes: -æf

Noun

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half (plural halves)

  1. One of two usually roughly equal parts into which anything may be divided, or considered as divided.
    I ate the slightly smaller half of the apple.
    You don’t know the half of it.
    Of the passengers on the plane, half were English.
    The cake was delicious: half was vanilla and half was chocolate.
  2. (sports) One of the two opposite parts of the playing field of various sports, in which each starts the game.
    • 2011 September 16, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: New Zealand 83-7 Japan”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      However, the hosts hit back and hit back hard, first replacement hooker Andrew Hore sliding over, then Williams careering out of his own half and leaving several defenders for dead before flipping the ball to Nonu to finish off a scintillating move.
  3. 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.
      • 1968, John Braine, The Crying Game, Houghton Mifflin, page 11:
        He came back with a pint of Guinness for me and a half of bitter for Wendy.
      • 1974, James Herriot, All Things Bright and Beautiful, St. Martin's Press,, →ISBN:
        I accepted a half of bitter from him.
      • 2006, Bill Appleton, Wide Boy, Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie, →ISBN, page 168:
        I went to the bar where I bought a pint and two large brandies. ... "Not brandy," she replied, "but I could use a long drink - maybe a half of lager."
    2. (liquor trade) A barrel measure of 27 gallons (half a hogshead).
      • 1987, Keith Dunstan, The Amber Nectar, Ringwood: Vicking O'Neil, page 81:
        Barrels came in firkins, nine gallons; kilderkins, eighteen gallons; halves, twenty-seven gallons; barrels, thirty-six gallons and hogsheads, fifty-four.
  4. (preceded by “a” or a number) The fraction obtained by dividing 1 by 2.
    Synonym: ½
    Three-quarters minus a quarter is a half.
  5. Any of the three terms at Eton College, for Michaelmas, Lent, and summer.
  6. (slang) A half sibling.
    • 2016, Robert M. Herzog, A World Between:
      So for Richard and Barbara, Jeff and Kari, the impossibly varied collection of steps and halves that is another legacy of my father.
  7. (UK, dated) A child ticket. Two and a half to Paddington.
  8. (sports) abbreviated form for half marathon.
  9. (numismatic slang) Clipping of half-dollar.
    • 2002 August 15, Fred A. Murphy, “FA: Last of the Walkers”, in rec.collecting.coins[2] (Usenet), retrieved 2023-01-03:
      Tonight, we're offering the last of the Walking Liberty Halves for awhile:[sic]

Derived terms

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Terms derived from half (noun)

Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adjective

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half (not comparable)

  1. Consisting of a half (½, 50%).
    Synonyms: semi-, hemi-, demi-
    a half kilo
    a half hour
    a half dollar
  2. Consisting of some indefinite portion resembling a half; approximately a half, whether more or less; partial; imperfect.
    a half truth
  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.

Usage notes

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  • (consisting of a half): The adjective and noun are often united to form a compound, half-hour.

Derived terms

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

Terms derived from half (adjective). A few may possibly be derived from the adverb, it's hard to tell

Descendants

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

Translations

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Adverb

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half (not comparable)

  1. In two equal parts or to an equal degree.
  2. In some part approximating a half.
  3. Partially; imperfectly.
    half-colored
    half done
    half persuaded
    half conscious
    He does sometimes half wish to change his life, but it is too difficult.
  4. Practically, nearly.

Usage notes

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  • (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.

Synonyms

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  • (partially; imperfectly): halfly (obsolete)

Derived terms

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Terms derived from half (adverb)

Translations

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See also

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Verb

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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

Translations

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Preposition

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half

  1. (UK, Ireland) Half past; a half-hour (30 minutes) after the last hour.
    Synonym: (North America, Australia) half past
    The time is 9:30; it is half nine.
  2. (Discuss(+) this sense) (rare, see usage notes) A half-hour to (preceding) the next hour.
    In some countries, "half seven" means 6:30.

Usage notes

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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.

Interjection

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half

  1. (theater) A call reminding performers that the performance will begin in thirty minutes.

References

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Dutch

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Etymology

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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.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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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)
    anderhalf
    one and a half (half before two, with ander originally meaning second)
  3. (with months) the middle of that month
    half maart
    mid-March

Inflection

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Declension of half
uninflected half
inflected halve
comparative
positive
predicative/adverbial half
indefinite m./f. sing. halve
n. sing. half
plural halve
definite halve
partitive halfs

Derived terms

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Descendants

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German

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Pronunciation

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Verb

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half

  1. first/third-person singular preterite of helfen

Middle English

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Etymology

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

Noun

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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?)

Alternative forms

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Adjective

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half

  1. half

Alternative forms

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Adverb

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half

  1. half

Alternative forms

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Descendants

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References

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