- half [ hæf ] (plural halves [ hævz ] ) function word, quantifier ***Half can be used in the following ways:as a predeterminer (followed by a word such as a, the, this, or his ):We live half a mile up the road.I have to spend half my time taking care of the children.as a pronoun:Let's share the prize money. You can have half. (followed by of ):48 is half of 96.Half of us are still unemployed. (following in or by ):Cut the apple in half.The crime rate has been reduced by half.as an adjective (followed by a noun):We ordered a half bottle of red wine.They sold 250 tickets in the first half hour.as an adverb (followed by an adjective, adverb, or preposition):I was only half awake.She spoke half in Italian and half in English. (followed by a verb or participle):I only half understood what she was saying.a half finished building (followed by as ):A nurse only earns half as much as a doctor.as a countable noun:The group was divided into two halves.Our team scored 36 points in the second half.as a number:Emma was talking well by the age of two and a half.1. ) ½ or 50%a ) used for referring to one of two equal parts into which an amount, group, or object can be divided:The rebel army now controls over half the country.The students spend half their time on practical work.half of: Prices rose by over 15% during the second half of 1988.Would anyone like the other half of my pizza?When we interviewed employees, nearly half of them complained of stress.divide/cut/split etc. something in half: Peel the potatoes and cut them in half.b ) used in numbers, measurements, and ages to mean ½:One and a half million people have been driven from their homes.Jasmine started school when she was four and a half.half an hour/a mile etc.: We had to wait half an hour for a bus.half hour/mile etc.: She walked the half mile from Wall Street back to her office.half a dozen/a half dozen (=six): half a dozen eggsc ) increase/reduce/cut etc. something by half to make something 50% more/50% less:The risk of developing lung cancer has been reduced by half.d ) half again as much/many used for saying that an amount/number is 50% greater than another amount/number:An apartment in New York costs half again as much as a similar apartment in Philadelphia.e ) go halves MAINLY SPOKEN to share the cost of something with someone so that you each pay 50%:If we're going halves, we can afford to buy something really nice.f ) used for saying that someone or something is made up of 50% of one thing and 50% of something else:half something (and) half something: The fabric is half nylon, half cotton.The fearsome creature was half man and half beast.Marie is half Vietnamese, half French (=one of her parents is from Vietnam, the other is from France).half and half (=50% of each): There used to be a lot more men than women in the medical school, but now it's about half and half.2. ) partly used for saying that something happens partly but not completely, or that something is partly in a particular state:Through the half open door I could hear the sound of Alan's voice.The rocks were half under water.Perhaps he half realized that there was nothing more he could do.half-empty/half-full: a half-empty milk bottle3. ) used for emphasisa ) used for emphasizing how bad or extreme a situation is:Your mother's been going half crazy worrying about you.I seem to spend half my life cleaning up after those kids.4. ) period in a game one of the two equal periods of time into which a game of football, basketball, HOCKEY, etc. is divided:Neither team scored in the first half.5. ) beer BRITISH MAINLY SPOKEN half a PINT of a drink, especially beer...and a half MAINLY SPOKENused for emphasizing that you think something is very big, very good, etc.:Fixing up that old apartment will be a job and a half.given half a chanceused for saying that someone or something will do something if they get the opportunityhalf a minute/second MAINLY SPOKENan extremely short time:If you'd only listen for half a minute, I could explain everything.half past one/two etc. => NOTEthirty minutes after one o'clock/two o'clock etc.:The stores close at half past five.half the battlethe most important part of what you have to do in order to achieve something:Winning people's trust is half the battle.half the fun/problem/trouble etc.a large part of the fun/problem/trouble etc. that is involved in something:Putting up the decorations is half the fun of Christmas.how the other half livesthe way that people who are much richer or poorer than you spend their lives(not) be half the person/man/player etc. you used to beto be much less successful, happy, or strong than you used to benot do things/anything by halvesto do things very thoroughly and with a lot of energy:He'll throw a great party he doesn't do anything by halves.not half as good/bad/much etc. asused for emphasizing that one person or thing is not nearly as good/bad etc. as another:I never thought that Chaplin was half as funny as Buster Keaton.not half bad SPOKENused for saying that someone or something is good, especially when they are better than you expected them to be:It's one of the cheapest printers around, and it isn't half bad.someone's other/better half HUMOROUSsomeone's wife, husband, or romantic partnertoo clever/eager/cocky etc. by half BRITISH SPOKENused for showing that you do not approve of someone because they are intelligent/enthusiastic etc. in a way that annoys youyou don't know/haven't heard the half of it SPOKENused for telling someone that a situation is more shocking or complicated than they think=> MIND1
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.