/haf, hahf/ , n. , pl. halves /havz, hahvz/ , adj. , adv.
1. one of two equal or approximately equal parts of a divisible whole, as an object, or unit of measure or time; a part of a whole equal or almost equal to the remainder.
2. a quantity or amount equal to such a part ( 1 / 2 ).
3. Sports. either of two equal periods of play, usually with an intermission or rest period separating them. Cf. quarter (def. 10).
4. one of two; a part of a pair.
a. See half dollar .
b. the sum of 50 cents: Four dimes and two nickels make a half.
6. Baseball. either of the two units of play into which an inning is divided, the visiting team batting in the first unit and the home team batting in the second.
7. Football. a halfback.
8. Brit. Informal.
a. a half-crown coin.
b. the sum of a half crown; two shillings, sixpence.
c. a half pint: He ordered a half of ale.
9. not the half of , a significant yet relatively minor part of something that remains to be described in full: He accused them of being responsible for the error, and that's not the half of the story. Also, not half of, not half .
10. being one of two equal or approximately equal parts of a divisible whole: a half quart.
11. being half or about half of anything in degree, amount, length, etc.: at half speed; half sleeve.
12. partial or incomplete: half measures.
13. in or to the extent or measure of half.
14. in part; partly; incompletely: half understood.
15. to some extent; almost: half recovered.
16. by half , by very much; by far: She was too talented by half for her routine role.
17. half again as much or as many , as much as 50 percent more: This mug holds half again as much coffee as the smaller one.
18. half in two , Southern U.S. ( chiefly Gulf States ). in or into two parts; in half: Cut the cake half in two.
19. in half , divided into halves: The vase broke in half.
20. not half ,
a. not at all; not really: His first attempts at painting are not half bad.
b. See half (def. 9).
[ bef. 900; ME; OE h ( e ) alf; c. G Halb, ON halfr, Goth halbs ]
Syn. 14. barely, somewhat, partially; sort of.