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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

half

I.predeterminer
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a half moon (=looking like half a circle)
▪ A half moon was up now, pale and cool.
a number halves (=becomes twice as small)
▪ The number of children failing at school has halved in recent years.
at half mast (=halfway down the pole, in order to express public sadness at someone’s death)
▪ The government ordered that all flags should be flown at half mast.
be half awake (=not fully awake)
▪ Most of the people on the train were only half awake.
be half the fun (=be a very enjoyable part of doing something)
▪ Planning a vacation is half the fun.
be half the size of sth
▪ Kosovo is about half the size of Wales.
cut sth in half/two (=into two pieces)
▪ Cut the tomatoes in half.
first half
fly half
fold...in half
▪ It’ll fit in if you fold it in half.
given the chance/given half a chance (=if there is an opportunity to do something)
▪ Goats will eat anything, given half a chance.
half a dozen
▪ Chris, Helen, and half a dozen others went on holiday together.
half a mile
▪ We walked about half a mile.
half afraid (=a little afraid)
▪ Zoe was half afraid to go back in the house.
half an hour (also a half hour) (= thirty minutes)
▪ I’ll meet you in half an hour.
half as much again (=the same in addition to half that amount)
▪ The amount of crime is about half as much again as it was in 1973.
half board
▪ half board accommodation
half cocked
half crown
half day
▪ Friday is my half day off.
half dollar
half dressed (=not having finished putting your clothes on)
▪ Don’t come in – I’m only half dressed!
half expect (=partly, but not completely)
▪ He walked slowly towards the box, half expecting it to explode.
half measures
▪ Half measures will not fix the health care system.
half moon
half naked
▪ They found the body lying half naked in the grass.
half nelson
half note
half pay
▪ In 1822 he retired from the army as captain on half pay.
half pipe
half price
▪ Many shoes are at half price or less.
half step
half/partly right (=correct to some degree, but not completely)
▪ That theory may still be partly right.
in two/halves/pieces etc
▪ I tore the letter in two and threw the pieces in the fire.
slice sth in two/half
▪ Slice the eggs in two and arrange them on a serving dish.
snap (sth) in two/in half (=break into two pieces)
▪ The teacher snapped the chalk in two and gave me a piece.
split (sth) in two/half
▪ The board had split in two.
Split the pineapple down the middle.
the bottom half
▪ There’s were only two windows in the bottom half of the building.
the first/second half of the century
▪ In the second half of the century, people's wages began to rise.
time and a half
▪ We get time and a half for working on Sunday.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
be half the battle
▪ Getting Jeff to listen to me is half the battle.
▪ Just getting an interview is half the battle.
▪ And as the Reidys said, finding a family-friendly company is half the battle.
▪ Media mavens contend that the visual comparison of the two men side by side is half the battle.
▪ Relishing the state is half the battle towards a good life, for everyone.
be too clever by half
▪ Phil's good at thinking up excuses for his behaviour - he's too clever by half.
go halves (with sb)
go off half cocked
half asleep
▪ Sorry, what did you say? I was half asleep.
▪ Corporal L, the Royal Signals Operator, is half asleep in his chair.
▪ He never lost his sense of humor, even when he was half asleep.
▪ Inside, the Porter was half asleep behind a newspaper.
▪ It was a hot day, and I think I must have been half asleep when I noticed something very strange.
▪ Most of the time they were half asleep, chatting about the weather.
▪ She stayed on top of him, half asleep still.
▪ Sorcerer felt dazed and half asleep, still dreaming wild dawn dreams.
▪ The old lady nodded, as if half asleep.
half measures
▪ I suppose I was never contented with half measures.
▪ Learn your trade fully, do the job properly - no half measures.
▪ The only alternative to Lloyd George's lies were Asquith's half measures.
▪ There's no half measures to playing this way.
half the time
▪ About half the time, I went down with a buddy, half the time alone.
▪ Alice was thinking: Jim's so big and strong, Philip isn't; together they'd need half the time.
▪ AutoFix worked about half the time on both computers.
▪ Drunk and maudlin half the time.
▪ It's madness your having to live with them half the time.
▪ Just not in touch with it half the time.
▪ Poor thing, he could barely keep his eyes open half the time, and now he had this skin condition.
▪ The new mainframe operating system I have personally approved is going haywire; the computer is down half the time.
half/full price
▪ We got all the furniture for half price.
▪ At full price the set demands as much.
▪ First, he has devised a way of buying the ground at less than half price.
▪ I can't feel that this music as presented here is an attractive proposition at full price.
▪ If the guest took up the booking, the deposit was part payment of the full price.
▪ Most men's and women's clothing half price.
▪ On Sundays from 3 p. m. to 5 p. m., admission is half price.
▪ They was rubbish, and they was full price.
▪ Visalia bought a swimming pool at half price because its employees were unencumbered by line item budgets.
have half a mind to do sth
▪ I have half a mind to make you take this right back.
it's six of one and half a dozen of the other
keep/have one eye/half an eye on sb/sth
sb sees the glass as half-empty/half-full
II.noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
bottom
▪ The bottom half of the building was towers, balconies and metal grilles, and the top half was very Hemish merchant.
▪ Place each burger on the bottom half of focaccia.
▪ Two large areas were marked in red, both in the bottom half of the map.
▪ The bottom half is a counterpoint to the showy fecundity of the top.
▪ He pushed the bottom half of the window upwards and swung one leg over the sill.
▪ But now, in the bottom half, our animal brotherhood is forgotten.
▪ Spread the bottom half with the cooled apple filling and cover with the top half of the cake.
▪ Cleveland had runners at first and third with no one out in the bottom half of the inning.
eastern
▪ The eastern half was a warehouse, a storey higher than the mill and built later, around 1890.
▪ The most southerly of the three enclosures had also been subdivided, although little of its eastern half lay within the trench.
▪ Through such Promethean effort, the eastern half of the continent was radically made over, for better or worse.
▪ In both Norfolk and Suffolk the eastern and western halves of the county are noticeably different.
▪ After her experience in Managua, Kegl wondered whether deaf people in the remote eastern half of the country had a language.
▪ Carrillo controls the eastern half of the 2, 000-mile border, the Arellanos the western half.
low
▪ Jamila was fast asleep with a sheet over her lower half.
▪ Cybil was twisting Paw-paw so that the lower half of the body was doing the hula.
▪ Plastic pins simply pushed in to secure the lower half of the handle to the body of the mower.
▪ He sees a team that finished in the lower half of the National League in hitting, pitching and fielding.
▪ The third type seem to be solid, and are largely confined to the lower half of the main cloud.
▪ Here the monk was fumbling with the appalled geisha and tearing at the lower half of her kimono.
▪ A big brown beard covered the lower half of his thin, pale, serious face.
▪ Glover felt how the entire lower half of himself was beginning to go numb.
northern
▪ Poor in the estuaries in the northern half of Morecambe Bay and not much prospect of improvement.
▪ Many walkers, particularly Brits, prefer to start in the south, reaching the more spectacular northern half when acclimatised.
other
▪ Don't take your other half for granted.
▪ An hour later they used the same tactics to gain entry to the other half of the camp.
▪ The other half of his ambition has never been in doubt.
▪ I took the other half, inspecting it in a similar manner.
▪ Half of the record aspired towards the cacophony of grinding rock and the other half was still emphasising their pop flair.
▪ Half of her wants to be a fella, and the other half's a frustrated old maid.
▪ The bank then served a bankruptcy petition on A for the other half.
▪ Half your army wants to hang back and shoot, the other half wants to get stuck in as quickly as possible.
southern
▪ The first section to be built was the southern half.
▪ Within months, land prices in the southern half of the county tripled.
▪ The United States has 37,000 troops based in the southern half of the divided peninsula.
top
▪ Spread the bottom half with the cooled apple filling and cover with the top half of the cake.
▪ In fact, the top half of the diagram is not very different.
▪ We want to establish a position in the top half of the table.
▪ The front door was open, revealing a stone-flagged porch, and an inner door with frosted glass in the top half.
▪ There is, however, one further difference affecting the top half of.the diagram.
▪ Some nests are given waterproof roofs by using particularly wide strips of leaves for the top half.
▪ Not since they found the top half of the greengrocer.
▪ The impact almost completely crushed the top half of the car.
upper
▪ At 590p or more, lead sponsor Merrill Lynch will have achieved a price in the upper half of that range.
▪ Across its upper half, two lines Of human figures snake toward an abstract river.
▪ His lower body is lime green with a rich shading of deep red across the upper half.
▪ At the brink of the chasm the upper half of his body rose for an instant with the arms uplifted.
▪ Six to eight diagonal transverse bands lie on the upper half of the body.
▪ A small television screen covered its upper half.
▪ I looked at several texts directed at the upper half of secondary schools and roughly the same categories emerged as for social studies.
▪ Both of these features should be apparent in the upper half of Figure 7.5, which shows a smooth plain.
■ NOUN
brother
▪ Celie is fourteen years old, she has one sister, Nettie and numerous half brothers and sisters.
▪ The president's half brother and one of his sons sued the government for trampling on their civil rights!
centre
▪ Although a recognised left back, Jimmy Phillips had experience at centre half with Rangers.
▪ Noo there wis a centre half.
▪ Curtis Fleming has been tried at centre half in two recent Central League games but lacks experience for a key job.
▪ Crewe centre half, Darren Carr got the header as the Hereford defence stood and watched.
▪ Boss Billy Bonds has been impressed in training by the 23-year-old centre half from Partisan Belgrade.
▪ I would have thought Centre half one of the more easier positions for talent spotting.
century
▪ All rounder Kevin Dixon has made a big impact, hitting two half centuries and also taking wickets.
▪ He had fought a maddening, 24-hour battle against a river that California agriculture had tamed for more than a half century.
▪ Manu Singh scored an undefeated half century in St Edwards' league success against Arnot.
▪ Massachusetts unimaginatively kept its establishment for another half century.
▪ Newtown then raced to 92-3 with Gwilym Lewis reaching an undefeated half century and Brian Jones adding 22.
▪ Light rays, anticipating by a half century the Rayonniststructures of Larionov, were made visible by the photographic telescope.
▪ Port had posted 179-7 thanks to an unbeaten half century by John Roberts.
▪ Commerce and industry are more splintered and diverse than a half century ago.
dozen
▪ The entire park had taken on an eerie red glow from the flashing sirens of the half dozen fire trucks parked alongside.
▪ Sunday night he was wild on at least a half dozen.
▪ Project sources say any one of the half dozen is capable of winning the contract.
▪ Now a mere half dozen kinds are left.
▪ No one has been here in six months, and only a half dozen or so have ever signed it.
▪ Around the vases a half dozen metal stakes had been planted.
▪ Names of a half dozen snitches have been listed as prosecution witnesses to whom Wooten allegedly confessed.
hour
▪ She had been waiting in his office with growing impatience for a full half hour.
▪ The passenger wagons were not going into town for another half hour, so I hired a carriage and went in myself.
▪ The envelope remained in my pocket for another half hour, after which time I casually strolled out to the gents.
▪ A half hour at the latest.
▪ Stuart claimed the extra half hour and we won by an innings in a day.
▪ I kept checking the bathroom mirror every half hour or so, certain my face was swelling on one side.
▪ Already the first stars were out; in a half hour the darkness would be solid.
▪ As expected, Annan got a generous endorsement from President Clinton, with whom he met for about a half hour.
mile
▪ In a short half mile we would leave the Lake shore, and make for home along the gravel of the road.
▪ He directs us to a good campsite a half mile down the beach at the base of a fresh-water estuary.
▪ Arriving late to find all moving stairways were out of order a panicky half mile sprint was needed to catch our plane.
▪ A water pipe jutted from the sandy village main street another half mile to the east.
▪ But a half mile down the road after some other diversion, I lose him.
▪ The nearest distraction is probably the Concord Turnpike, a half mile north of the pond.
million
▪ It cost a half million dollars to film.
▪ This development ought to net me a half million.
▪ At the time, District Attorney Joseph Freitas estimated the employees were stealing at least a half million dollars a year.
▪ These offers guaranteed at least a half million dollars a year plus a cut of trading profits.
▪ They also brought in sound trucks, extra precinct workers, and printed more than a half million pieces of campaign literature.
■ VERB
cut
▪ Galley cut the deficit in half at 7: 13 on their third power play.
▪ Yahoo's stock price has been cut by half since last summer, but it's an overreaction, the company says.
▪ It said said contamination levels must be cut by half within five years.
▪ Traders of interest-rate futures are pricing in a half-point cut in the first half of this year.
▪ Allow to cool until tepid. Cut the mangoes in half and scoop out the flesh with a metal spoon.
▪ Now cut the tomato in half from stem top to bottom.
▪ Industry could cut this amount in half in five years, according to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
be too clever by half
▪ Phil's good at thinking up excuses for his behaviour - he's too clever by half.
go halves (with sb)
go off half cocked
half asleep
▪ Sorry, what did you say? I was half asleep.
▪ Corporal L, the Royal Signals Operator, is half asleep in his chair.
▪ He never lost his sense of humor, even when he was half asleep.
▪ Inside, the Porter was half asleep behind a newspaper.
▪ It was a hot day, and I think I must have been half asleep when I noticed something very strange.
▪ Most of the time they were half asleep, chatting about the weather.
▪ She stayed on top of him, half asleep still.
▪ Sorcerer felt dazed and half asleep, still dreaming wild dawn dreams.
▪ The old lady nodded, as if half asleep.
half measures
▪ I suppose I was never contented with half measures.
▪ Learn your trade fully, do the job properly - no half measures.
▪ The only alternative to Lloyd George's lies were Asquith's half measures.
▪ There's no half measures to playing this way.
half/full price
▪ We got all the furniture for half price.
▪ At full price the set demands as much.
▪ First, he has devised a way of buying the ground at less than half price.
▪ I can't feel that this music as presented here is an attractive proposition at full price.
▪ If the guest took up the booking, the deposit was part payment of the full price.
▪ Most men's and women's clothing half price.
▪ On Sundays from 3 p. m. to 5 p. m., admission is half price.
▪ They was rubbish, and they was full price.
▪ Visalia bought a swimming pool at half price because its employees were unencumbered by line item budgets.
it's six of one and half a dozen of the other
sb sees the glass as half-empty/half-full
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ After an hour and a half, you too may find yourself chanting, Save us Jackie, save us.
▪ Especially since I said to David about a week and a half ago and then.
▪ It was even Steven in the second half, but towards the end Gloucester roared into life.
▪ Slice loin and place on other half of plate; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with basil.
▪ The home side went ahead through Thierry Henry in the first half and Nwankwo Kanu in the second.
▪ The referee added seven minutes of injury time in a stop-start first half.
III.adverb
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
asleep
▪ The old lady nodded, as if half asleep.
▪ He never lost his sense of humor, even when he was half asleep.
▪ Old men with their faces in the page, half asleep, here to escape whatever is out there.
empty
▪ The long room was half dark, and half empty.
▪ Most of the correspondents had gone now; the room was half empty.
full
▪ Allows two bikes at a time in wheelchair areas of all buses, provided the bus is less than half full.
▪ The glass is always half full in our land of optimists.
▪ With her, the glass is always half full.
▪ Kaiser hospitals in Northern California are about half full, and several of them need replacement or modernization.
▪ Our car was half full, and we were assigned to a row by ourselves.
▪ That drawer was only half full.
▪ But I prefer to see the glass as half full, not half empty.
naked
▪ He drifts round the corner, half naked.
▪ Cold and half naked in the darkened bedroom, Cantor felt the day had taken a shape for the worse.
▪ Her eyes widened, glowing at the half naked girl beside her.
right
▪ Sklare was half right in his explanation.
■ VERB
close
▪ He half closed his eyes, deliberately losing focus until the sea was a vast grey void.
▪ There was a bedroom off to the side, its door half closed, also for buyers and their guests.
▪ She half closed her eyes, but she knew that the picture she presented was anything but detached.
▪ One of his eyes was half closed, and he wore a big hat which covered most of his head.
dress
▪ Some in pyjamas, others half dressed suddenly lined up to take their tea and pills.
▪ Children, som-e only toddlers, played half dressed in the sand at their feet.
expect
▪ He half expected to see some naked tourist in the corner, bound and gagged.
▪ Can't say we didn't half expect it, I suppose, by this time.
▪ She half expected to see bloodstains.
▪ He had been half expecting a confession.
▪ And she had half expected that he would follow her and continue the argument.
▪ Rodo glanced confusedly up at the ceiling, half expecting the roof to collapse in on him.
▪ Dorcas was half expecting the car to follow them.
hide
▪ Further along the grassy track, half hidden behind trees, a church roof can be glimpsed.
▪ Her right hand rests on her knee, her left is half hidden in a pocket.
▪ Clifford Bradley had half hidden himself from the rest of the company behind the table holding the model of the new Laboratory.
▪ A man at the train station stood watching, half hidden in the crowd.
▪ He had the skull half hidden in his lap and his little hand stroked the smooth bone, gently and rhythmically.
▪ Her eyes ran down the black jacket to where the man's watch was half hidden by a white cuff.
▪ A small wooden door, set into the stone wall, and half hidden beneath the hanging tendrils of a climbing rose.
turn
▪ I half turned on the stool.
▪ She half turned but thought better of it.
▪ She half turned to look at the figure beside her and this proved a near fatal mistake.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ "That's good," he said dully, putting down his half-eaten sandwich.
▪ Her first album is now half finished and is due out later this year.
▪ I found him sitting on his bed, half-dressed.
▪ The houses were half-submerged by the flood water.
▪ There was a half-smoked cigarette in the ashtray.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ But LeRoy, he got one half again as big.
▪ By this time the poor charioteer was half fainting with terror, and he let the reins fall.
▪ Cold and half naked in the darkened bedroom, Cantor felt the day had taken a shape for the worse.
▪ Her right hand rests on her knee, her left is half hidden in a pocket.
▪ It struck me that there was nothing there half so beautiful as the vision just presented by its derelict predecessor.
▪ Miss Russell had a morbid fear of sunlight fading carpets and furnishings, so the curtains were half drawn as usual.
▪ She half fell, half collapsed against it, unable to stop the tears of fear and anguish pouring down her face.
▪ That's 45 percent more than in 1990, but virtually half as many as visited the Paris show.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Half

Half \Half\ (h[aum]f), a. [AS. healf, half, half; as a noun, half, side, part; akin to OS., OFries., & D. half, G. halb, Sw. half, Dan. halv, Icel. h[=a]lfr, Goth. halbs. Cf. Halve, Behalf.]

  1. Consisting of a moiety, or half; as, a half bushel; a half hour; a half dollar; a half view.

    Note: The adjective and noun are often united to form a compound.

  2. Consisting of some indefinite portion resembling a half; approximately a half, whether more or less; partial; imperfect; as, a half dream; half knowledge. Assumed from thence a half consent. --Tennyson. Half ape (Zo["o]l.), a lemur. Half back. (Football) See under 2d Back. Half bent, the first notch, for the sear point to enter, in the tumbler of a gunlock; the halfcock notch. Half binding, a style of bookbinding in which only the back and corners are in leather. Half boarder, one who boards in part; specifically, a scholar at a boarding school who takes dinner only. Half-breadth plan (Shipbuilding), a horizontal plan of one half a vessel, divided lengthwise, showing the lines. Half cadence (Mus.), a cadence on the dominant. Half cap, a slight salute with the cap. [Obs.] --Shak. At half cock, the position of the cock of a gun when retained by the first notch. Half hitch, a sailor's knot in a rope; half of a clove hitch. Half hose, short stockings; socks. Half measure, an imperfect or weak line of action. Half note (Mus.), a minim, one half of a semibreve. Half pay, half of the wages or salary; reduced pay; as, an officer on half pay. Half price, half the ordinary price; or a price much reduced. Half round.

    1. (Arch.) A molding of semicircular section.

    2. (Mech.) Having one side flat and the other rounded; -- said of a file.

      Half shift (Mus.), a position of the hand, between the open position and the first shift, in playing on the violin and kindred instruments. See Shift.

      Half step (Mus.), a semitone; the smallest difference of pitch or interval, used in music.

      Half tide, the time or state of the tide equally distant from ebb and flood.

      Half time, half the ordinary time for work or attendance; as, the half-time system.

      Half tint (Fine Arts), a middle or intermediate tint, as in drawing or painting. See Demitint.

      Half truth, a statement only partially true, or which gives only a part of the truth.
      --Mrs. Browning.

      Half year, the space of six months; one term of a school when there are two terms in a year.

Half

Half \Half\ (h[aum]f), n.; pl. Halves (h[aum]vz). [AS. healf. See Half, a.]

  1. Part; side; behalf. [Obs.]
    --Wyclif.

    The four halves of the house.
    --Chaucer.

  2. One of two equal parts into which anything may be divided, or considered as divided; -- sometimes followed by of; as, a half of an apple.

    Not half his riches known, and yet despised.
    --Milton.

    A friendship so complete Portioned in halves between us.
    --Tennyson.

    Better half. See under Better.

    In half, in two; an expression sometimes used improperly instead of in halves or into halves; as, to cut in half. [Colloq.]
    --Dickens.

    In one's half or On one's half, in one's behalf; on one's part. [Obs.]

    To cry halves, to claim an equal share with another.

    To go halves, to share equally between two.

Half

Half \Half\, v. t. To halve. [Obs.] See Halve.
--Sir H. Wotton.

Half

Half \Half\, adv. In an equal part or degree; in some part approximating a half; partially; imperfectly; as, half-colored, half done, half-hearted, half persuaded, half conscious. ``Half loth and half consenting.''
--Dryden.

Their children spoke halfin the speech of Ashdod.
--Neh. xiii. 24.

Wiktionary

half

  1. 1 Consisting of a moiety, or half (1/2, 50%). 2 Consisting of some indefinite portion resembling a half; approximately a half, whether more or less; partial; imperfect. 3 (context of a sibling English) Having one parent (rather than two) in common. 4 (context rare, of a relative other than a sibling English) Related through one common grandparent or ancestor rather than two. 5 (context UK time English) Half an hour after the time given; half past. adv. In two equal parts or to an equal degree; in some part approximating a half; partially; imperfectly n. 1 one of two usually roughly equal parts into which anything may be divided, or considered as divided; — sometimes followed by of; as, a '''half''' of an apple. 2 # (context sports English) One of the two opposite parts of the playing field of various sports, in which each starts the game. prep. (lb en UK Ireland) a half-hour after, thirty minutes after (qualifier: used with the number of the hour) v

  2. (lb en transitive obsolete) To halve.

Wikipedia

Half (disambiguation)

Half may refer to:

  • Halves, an Irish post-rock band
  • One half, an irreducible fraction resulting from dividing one by two.
  • Halving, the operation of division by two.
  • Other half, an affectionate term for a member of an intimate relationship.
  • half.com, a website ran by eBay that sells books, movies, video games, music, etc. with a different way in which the buyers/sellers do business (see the article for more reasonable explanation)
  • "A half", a half pint of an alcoholic beverage, typically beer, ale and similar.
  • A half precision floating point representation in computer sciences.
  • HALF may also refer to the Mitch Albom book, Have a Little Faith
  • "Half" a song by Soundgarden on the album Superunknown
WordNet

half

  1. adj. consisting of one of two equivalent parts in value or quantity; "a half chicken"; "lasted a half hour" [syn: half(a)]

  2. partial; "gave me a half smile"; "he did only a half job" [syn: half(a)]

  3. (of siblings) related through one parent only; "a half brother"; "half sister" [ant: whole]

  4. [also: halves (pl)]

half

  1. n. one of two equal parts of a divisible whole; "half a loaf"; "half an hour"; "a century and one half" [syn: one-half]

  2. in various games or performances: either of two periods of play separated by an interval

  3. [also: halves (pl)]

half

  1. adv. partially or to the extent of a half; "he was half hidden by the bushes"

  2. [also: halves (pl)]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

half

Old English half, halb (Mercian), healf (W. Saxon) "side, part," not necessarily of equal division (original sense preserved in behalf), noun, adjective, and adverb all in Old English, from Proto-Germanic *halbas "something divided" (cognates: Old Saxon halba, Old Norse halfr, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch half, German halb, Gothic halbs "half"), perhaps from PIE (s)kel- (1) "to cut."\n

\nUsed also in Old English phrases, as in modern German, to mean "one half unit less than," for example þridda healf "two and a half," literally "half third." The construction in two and a half, etc., is first recorded c.1200. Of time, in half past ten, etc., first attested 1750; in Scottish, the half often is prefixed to the following hour (as in German, halb elf = "ten thirty"). To go off half-cocked "speak or act too hastily" (1833) is in allusion to firearms going off prematurely.

Gazetteer

Usage examples of "half".

So they abode there but two days, and on the third day were led away by a half score of men gaily apparelled after their manner, and having with them many sumpter-beasts with provision for the road.

The carles looked askance at one another, but straightway opened the gates, and Ralph and his company went forth, and abode the new-comers on a little green mound half a bowshot from the Castle.

A swarm of birds-gulls and ternswas wheeling over half an acre of water that seemed to be aboil with living things.

At night he has my watch, passport, and half my money, and I often wonder what would become of me if he absconded before morning.

He publicly chastised the cardinals for absenteeism, luxury, and lascivious life, forbade them to hold or sell plural benefices, prohibited their acceptance of pensions, gifts of money, and other favors from secular sources, ordered the papal treasurer not to pay them their customary half of the revenue from benefices but to use it for the restoration of churches in Rome.

Each time he returned to the car, he half expected the girl to be gone, but she sat quietly holding the baby and absently stared toward infinity.

When the tentacles do not begin moving for a much longer time, namely, from half an hour to three or four hours, the particles have been slowly brought into contact with the glands, either by the secretion being absorbed by the particles or by its gradual spreading over them, together with its consequent quicker evaporation.

Three and a half days later the enemy raced past Zanshaa without firing a missile at Sula or anyone else, and accelerated on a path for the Vandrith gas giant.

Tooe, its wasteful, almost pretentious insistence on nonexistent acceleration, with almost half her space sacrificed to a cramped up-down orientation.

Then that deranged half split down the middle and I became suddenly and mortally certain that Valerie had asked me to pilot the shoot as some sort of test, and that her selection of Acer was to let me know that I had missed my last chance to recapture her.

I suggested that people ignore the Panadol ads because they could buy store-brand acetaminophen for half as much.

Next add a strong solution of sodium acetate, until the solution ceases to darken on further addition, then dilute with water to half a litre.

In the case of ferric salts, half the quantity of acetic acid will be better, as then the ferric iron will be precipitated, and a colourless solution will be left, in which the end reaction is more readily distinguished.

Cover with salted and acidulated water, bring to the boil, simmer for half an hour, drain, garnish with lemon and parsley, and serve with a parsley sauce.

Clean and trim a striped bass and simmer half an hour in salted and acidulated water to cover.