/ hɑːf; NAmE hæf/ noun , determiner , pronoun , adverb
■ noun ( pl. halves / hɑːvz; NAmE hævz/)
either of two equal parts into which sth is or can be divided :
two and a half kilos (2½)
One and a half hours are allowed for the exam.
An hour and a half is allowed for the exam.
The second half of the book is more exciting.
I've divided the money in half .
We'll need to reduce the weight by half .
—see also halve
either of two periods of time into which a sports game, concert, etc. is divided :
No goals were scored in the first half.
—see also centre half , scrum half
( BrE , informal ) half a pint of beer or a similar drink :
Two halves of bitter, please.
- and a half
- do nothing / not do anything by halves
- go half and half | go halves (with sb)
- the half of it
- how the other half lives
- too clever, etc. by half
—more at mind noun , six , time noun
■ determiner , pronoun
an amount equal to half of sth/sb :
half an hour
Half (of) the fruit was bad.
Half of the money was mine.
He has a half share in the company.
Out of 36 candidates, half passed.
half the time, fun, trouble, etc. the largest part of sth :
Half the fun of gardening is never knowing exactly what's going to come up.
Half the time you don't even listen to what I say.
- half a loaf is better than no bread
- half a minute, second, etc.
- half past one, two, etc.
to the extent of half :
The glass was half full.
The chicken was only half cooked.
I'm half inclined to agree.
- half as many, much, etc. again
- not half
- not half as | not half such a
- not half bad
half / whole / quarter
Quarter , half and whole can all be nouns:
Cut the apple into quarters.
Two halves make a whole.
Whole is also an adjective:
I've been waiting here for a whole hour.
Half is also a determiner:
Half (of) the work is already finished.
They spent half the time looking for a parking space.
Her house is half a mile down the road.
Note that you do not put a or the in front of half when it is used in this way:
I waited for half an hour
• I waited for a half an hour.
Half can also be used as an adverb:
This meal is only half cooked.
Old English half , healf , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch half and German halb (adjectives). The earliest meaning of the Germanic base was side, also a noun sense in Old English .