Meaning of HALF in English

n., adj., & adv.

--n. (pl. halves)

1. either of two equal or corresponding parts or groups into which a thing is or might be divided.

2 colloq. half-back.

3 colloq. half a pint, esp. of beer etc.

4 either of two equal periods of play in sports.

5 colloq. a half-price fare or ticket, esp. for a child.

6 Golf a score that is the same as one's opponent's.


1. of an amount or quantity equal to a half, or loosely to a part thought of as roughly a half (take half the men; spent half the time reading; half a pint; a half-pint; half-price).

2 forming a half (a half share).


1. (often in comb.) to the extent of half; partly (only half cooked; half-frozen; half-laughing).

2 to a certain extent; somewhat (esp. in idiomatic phrases: half dead; am half inclined to agree).

3 (in reckoning time) by the amount of half (an hour etc.) (half past two).

Phrases and idioms:

at half cock see COCK(1). by half (prec. by too + adj.) excessively (too clever by half). by halves imperfectly or incompletely (never does things by halves). half-and-half being half one thing and half another. half-back (in some sports) a player between the forwards and full backs. half-baked

1. incompletely considered or planned.

2 (of enthusiasm etc.) only partly committed.

3 foolish. half the battle see BATTLE. half-beak any fish of the family Hemirhamphidae with the lower jaw projecting beyond the upper. half-binding a type of bookbinding in which the spine and corners are bound in one material (usu. leather) and the sides in another.


1. a person having one parent in common with another.

2 this relationship.

3 half-breed. half-blooded born from parents of different races.

half-blue Brit.

1. a person who has represented a university, esp. Oxford or Cambridge, in a sport but who has not received a full blue.

2 this distinction (see BLUE(1) n. 3). half board provision of bed, breakfast, and one main meal at a hotel etc. half-boot a boot reaching up to the calf. half-breed often offens. a person of mixed race. half-brother a brother with only one parent in common. half-caste often offens. n. a person whose parents are of different races, esp. the offspring of a European father and an Indian mother.

--adj. of or relating to such a person. half a chance colloq. the slightest opportunity (esp. given half a chance). half-crown (or half a crown) (in the UK) a former coin and monetary unit worth 2s. 6d. (121/2p). half-cut Brit. sl. fairly drunk. half-deck the quarters of cadets and apprentices on a merchant vessel. half-dozen (or half a dozen) colloq. six, or about six. half-duplex see DUPLEX. half an eye the slightest degree of perceptiveness. half-hardy (of a plant) able to grow in the open air at all times except in severe frost. half hitch a noose or knot formed by passing the end of a rope round its standing part and then through the loop. half holiday a day of which half (usu. the afternoon) is taken as a holiday. half-hour

1. (also half an hour) a period of 30 minutes.

2 a point of time 30 minutes after any hour o'clock. half-hourly at intervals of 30 minutes. half-hunter a watch with a hinged cover in which a small opening allows identification of the approximate position of the hands. half-inch n. a unit of length half as large as an inch.

--v.tr. rhymingsl. steal ( pinch). half-integral equal to half an odd integer. half-landing a landing part of the way up a flight of stairs, whose length is twice the width of the flight plus the width of the well. half-lap the joining of rails, shafts, etc., by halving the thickness of each at one end and fitting them together. half-length a canvas depicting a half-length portrait. half-life Physics & Biochem. etc. the time taken for the radioactivity or some other property of a substance to fall to half its original value. half-light a dim imperfect light. half-mast the position of a flag halfway down the mast, as a mark of respect for a person who has died. half measures an unsatisfactory compromise or inadequate policy. half a mind see MIND. half moon

1. the moon when only half its illuminated surface is visible from earth.

2 the time when this occurs.

3 a semicircular object. half nelson Wrestling see NELSON. half-note esp. US Mus. MINIM 1. the half of it colloq. the rest or more important part of something (usu. after neg.: you don't know the half of it). half pay reduced income, esp. on retirement. half-pie NZ sl. imperfect, mediocre.


1. a photographic plate 16.5 by 10.8 cm.

2 a photograph reproduced from this. half-seas-over Brit. sl. partly drunk. half-sister a sister with only one parent in common. half-sole the sole of a boot or shoe from the shank to the toe. half-sovereign a former British gold coin and monetary unit worth ten shillings (50p). half-step Mus. a semitone. half-term Brit. a period about halfway through a school term, when a short holiday is usually taken. half-timbered Archit. having walls with a timber frame and a brick or plaster filling.


1. the time at which half of a game or contest is completed.

2 a short interval occurring at this time. half the time see TIME.


1. the title or short title of a book, printed on the recto of the leaf preceding the title-page.

2 the title of a section of a book printed on the recto of the leaf preceding it.


1. a reproduction printed from a block (produced by photographic means) in which the various tones of grey are produced from small and large black dots.

2 US Mus. a semitone.


1. a propulsion system for land vehicles with wheels at the front and an endless driven belt at the back.

2 a vehicle equipped with this. half-truth a statement that (esp. deliberately) conveys only part of the truth. half-volley (pl. -eys) (in ball games) the playing of a ball as soon as it bounces off the ground. half-yearly at intervals of six months.

not half

1. not nearly (not half long enough).

2 colloq. not at all (not half bad).

3 Brit. sl. to an extreme degree (he didn't half get angry).

Etymology: OE half, healf f. Gmc, orig. 'side'

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.