Meaning of HALF in English

HALF

/ hɑːf; NAmE hæf/ noun , determiner , pronoun , adverb

■ noun ( pl. halves / hɑːvz; NAmE hævz/)

1.

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

2.

either of two periods of time into which a sports game, concert, etc. is divided :

No goals were scored in the first half.

3.

= halfback

—see also centre half , scrum half

4.

( BrE , informal ) half a pint of beer or a similar drink :

Two halves of bitter, please.

IDIOMS

- 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

1.

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.

2.

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.

IDIOMS

- half a loaf is better than no bread

- half a minute, second, etc.

- half past one, two, etc.

■ adverb

1.

to the extent of half :

The glass was half full.

2.

partly :

The chicken was only half cooked.

half-closed eyes

I'm half inclined to agree.

IDIOMS

- half as many, much, etc. again

- not half

- not half as | not half such a

- not half bad

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GRAMMAR

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.

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WORD ORIGIN

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 .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.