Meaning of HALF in English



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 ~ thousand pounds to complete the project...

More than ~ of all households report incomes above ?35,000...

Cut the tomatoes in ~ vertically...


Half is also a predeterminer.

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

They had only received ~ the money promised...


Half is also an adjective.

...a ~ measure of fresh lemon juice...

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



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

His eyes were ~ closed...

His refrigerator frequently looked ~ empty...

She’d ~ 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 ~.

N-COUNT: usu ord N


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



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

She was ~ Italian and ~ English.

ADV: ADV adj


You use ~ 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 ~ past . (BRIT INFORMAL)

They are supposed to be here at about ~ four.



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

He felt ~ 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 ~ the night...

He wouldn’t know what he was saying ~ 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 ~ lucky’, you mean that he is very lucky. (BRIT INFORMAL)

You don’t ~ sound confident...

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

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


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

You’re not ~ 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 ~ or a meal and a ~, you are emphasizing that your reaction to it is either very favourable or very unfavourable.

It becomes clear that Montgomerie has a job and ~ 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


~ the battle: see battle

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .