Meaning of HALF in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ hɑ:f, AM hæf ]

( halves /hɑ:vz, AM hævz/ )

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


Half of an amount or object is one of two equal parts that together make up the whole number, amount, or object.

They need an extra two and a half thousand pounds to complete the project...

More than half of all households report incomes above £35,000...

Cut the tomatoes in half vertically...


Half is also a predeterminer.

We just sat and talked for half an hour or so...

They had only received half the money promised...


Half is also an adjective.

...a half measure of fresh lemon juice...

Steve barely said a handful of words during the first half hour.



You use half to say that something is only partly the case or happens to only a limited extent.

His eyes were half closed...

His refrigerator frequently looked half empty...

She’d half expected him to withdraw from the course.

ADV : ADV adj , ADV before v


In games such as football, rugby, and basketball, matches are divided into two equal periods of time which are called halves .

The only goal was scored by Jakobsen early in the second half.

N-COUNT : usu ord N


A half is a half-price bus or train ticket for a child. ( BRIT )



You use half to say that someone has parents of different nationalities. For example, if you are half German, one of your parents is German but the other is not.

She was half Italian and half English.

ADV : ADV adj


You use half past to refer to a time that is thirty minutes after a particular hour.

‘What time were you planning lunch?’—‘Half past twelve, if that’s convenient.’...



Half means the same as half past . ( BRIT INFORMAL )

They are supposed to be here at about half four.



You can use half before an adjective describing an extreme quality, as a way of emphasizing and exaggerating something. ( INFORMAL )

He felt half dead with tiredness...

ADV : ADV adj [ emphasis ]

Half can also be used in this way with a noun referring to a long period of time or a large quantity.

I thought about you half the night...

He wouldn’t know what he was saying half the time...



Half is sometimes used in negative statements, with a positive meaning, to emphasize a particular fact or quality. For example, if you say ‘ he isn’t half lucky ’, you mean that he is very lucky. ( BRIT INFORMAL )

You don’t half sound confident...

‘There’d been a tremendous amount of poverty around and presumably this made some impact then.’—‘Oh not half.’

ADV : with neg , usu ADV before v , ADV adj / adv , ADV n , also ADV as reply [ emphasis ]


You use not half or not half as to show that you do not think something is as good or impressive as it is meant to be.

You’re not half the man you think you are...

ADV : with neg , ADV n , ADV as/so adj [ emphasis ]


When you use an expression such as a problem and a half or a meal and a half , you are emphasizing that your reaction to it is either very favourable or very unfavourable.

It becomes clear that Montgomerie has a job and half on his hands.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR [ emphasis ]


If you say that someone never does things by halves , you mean that they always do things very thoroughly.

In Italy they rarely do things by halves. Designers work thoroughly, producing the world’s most wearable clothes in the most beautiful fabrics.

PHRASE : with brd-neg , V inflects


If two people go halves , they divide the cost of something equally between them.

He’s constantly on the phone to his girlfriend. We have to go halves on the phone bill which drives me mad.

PHRASE : V inflects , oft PHR on n


half the battle: see battle

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.