From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishhalfhalf1 /hɑːf $ hæf/ ●●●S1W1 predeterminer, pronoun, adjective [only before noun]150%SHARE exactly or about 50% (½) of an amount, time, distance, number etchalf ofOver half of the children live in one-parent families.Only half the guests had arrived by seven o’clock.If you look at our members, at least half are women.half a mile/pound/hour etchalf a pound of butterIt’s about half a mile down the road.She drank half a bottle of wine.half a million dollarsa half hour/mile etcYou can’t just waltz in a half hour late.It’s about a half mile down the road.a half day excursion to the islandHe demanded a half share of the money.half the price/size/length etcIt’s only half the size of a normal violin.They offered to pay half the cost of repairs.2most ofMOST the largest part of somethinghalf ofWe missed half of what he said because someone was talking.She seems to be asleep half the time.Getting covered in mud is half the fun.3 →half past one/two/three etc4 →half a dozen5 →half a/the chance6 →half an eye/ear7 →be half the battle8 →half a minute/moment/second etc9 →only half the story10 →have half a mind to do something11 →half measures12 →half a loaf (is better than none)GrammarNumbers with half• You say one and a half, two and a half etc: She is two and a half.✗Don’t say: one and half | two and half• The phrases one and a half, two and a half etc are followed by a plural noun: We were there for one and a half days.✗Don’t say: We were there for one and a half day.Singular or plural verb?• You can use half (of) with a plural noun and a plural verb: Only half the citizens vote.• You can use half (of) with an uncountable noun and a singular verb: Half the food was wasted.Word orderYou say half (of) the: I’ve only read half the story.✗Don’t say: I’ve only read the half story.
Examples from the Corpus
half the price/size/length etc• But the Boxster is about much more than just rawacceleration, which you can get for half the price elsewhere.• Tabloid a pagehalf the size of a broadsheet.• This accommodation offers tremendous value and half the price of comparableMotels.• The whale was about thirty feet long, half the length of Hsu Fu, and would have weighed about seven tons.• This is a browncrustacean, half the size of the end of a pencil, that is extremely difficult to eradicate.• The forelimbs are less than half the length of the hindlimbs, which suggests an obligatory bipedal posture.• It was half the size of the one he had just left, he noticed, unusually observant.• The general thinking was it would be about half the size of what it announced, about 20,000.half the fun• It always fails, but that's half the fun.• Nigel was left with just one woman in his life to torment, which was only half the fun.• But any truly individual room has to evolve slowly; this is half the fun and certainly half the charm.• At each stage, half the fun comes from sharing the trials and triumphs with friends who are undergoing the same experiences.• Judd said half the fun of being with girls was when he was doing the chasing.• Still, half the fun of this run is the anticipation.• Luck has always played a key role in doing the pools, but half the fun was thinking that skill mattered.
halfhalf2 ●●●S1W2 noun (plural halves /hɑːvz $ hævz/) [countable]150%SHARE one of two equal parts of somethingTwo halves make a whole.one/two etc and a half (=1½, 2½ etc)My son’s three and a half now.an hour and a half latertwo and a half thousand peoplefirst/second/other half (of something)in the first half of the 19th centuryHe kept the other half of the cake for himself.top/bottom/northern etc half (of something)A veil covered the lower half of her face.the southern half of the countrybreak/cut/tear etc something in half (=into two equal parts)She tore the piece of paper in half.reduce/cut something by half (=make something 50% smaller)a plan to cut European forces by half2sportDS one of the two parts into which a sports event is dividedfirst/second halfFrance played very well in the first half.3playerDSF a player who plays in the middle part of the field in sports like football, rugby etcthe 23-year-old Newcastle centre half4beer British EnglishDFD a half of a pint of beerhalf ofCan I have a half of lager, please?5ticket British EnglishTT a child’s ticket, for example on a bus or train, that is cheaper than an adult’s ticketOne and a half to Waterloo, please.6 →a ... and a half7 →the half of it8 →your better half/other half9 →not do something by halves10 →go halves (on something)11 →too clever/rich/good etc by half12 →how the other half livesCOLLOCATIONSverbsbreak/cut/tear something in half (=into two equal pieces)He tore the paper in half.divide/split something in halfDivide the dough in half.reduce/cut something by half (=make something 50% smaller or 50% less)The company has reduced the number of staff by half.decrease/fall by half (=become 50% less)Share prices fell by half.increase/rise by half (=become 50% more)The number of passengers using the service has increased by half.adjectivesthe top/bottom halfHe graduated in the top half of his law school class.the upper/lower halfThe upper half of the door contained a stained glass window.the northern/southern halfThe northern half of the city is generally poorer.the first/second halfProfits doubled in the first half of the year.the other halfHalf the patients were given the drug and the other half were given a sugar pill.the last/latter halfHe struggled with ill health in the latter half of his life.phrasesone/two etc and a half‘How old is she?’ ‘Five and a half.’
Examples from the Corpus
half• 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.• The referee added seven minutes of injury time in a stop-start first half.• The home side went ahead through Thierry Henry in the first half and Nwankwo Kanu in the second.• Sliceloin and place on other half of plate; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with basil.• It was even Steven in the second half, but towards the end Gloucester roared into life.reduce/cut something by half• Deglaze pan with nut-brownale and reduce liquid by half. 3.• Remove the pears to a bowl, place the saucepan on the heat and reduce the sauce by half.• This eminently reasonable development cut their sales by half.• Our reckoning is that we should cut that by half.• It hopes to reduce consumption by half by the year 2025.• We reduced it by half and like the result very much.first/second half• The goallessfirst half finished on a controversial note when Cambridge were denied an advantage after wingerLee Philpott was felled.• During the first half of the 1980s, these cries actually put people to sleep.• I now invite you to complete the enclosed form detailing your sports events for the second half of the year.• While the deals continued, there was a palpably different mood about the show from the second half of the week onwards.• But teams have shot better in the second half against us.• They kept the Niners' defense on the field for almost 21 minutes in the first half, under a searingsky.• It sold 234,000 tons in the first half.• In the second half the work began to change dramatically.centre half• How long will he go on buying midfield players when what we still need is a centre half?• Noo there wis a centre half.• Although a recognised left back, Jimmy Phillips had experience at centre half with Rangers.• Curtis Fleming has been tried at centre half in two recentCentralLeague games but lacks experience for a key job.• With Beeny in goal and Newsome and Wetherall at centre half did the defence look more assured?• Crewe centre half, Darren Carr got the header as the Hereford defence stood and watched.• BossBillyBonds has been impressed in training by the 23-year-old centre half from Partisan Belgrade.• Why did we not buy another younger centre half?halfhalf3 ●●●S2 adverb1MIDDLEpartly, but not completelyHe was half in the water and half out.She was standing there half dressed, putting on her make-up.The door was only half closed.The jug was still half full.a half-empty wine bottleI was only half awake.He looked half asleep.I was half expecting her to say ‘no’.I half hoped that they wouldn’t come.I said it half jokingly.2MIXif something is half one thing and half something else, it is a combination of those two thingsHe’s half English, half Swiss.3EMPHASIZEused to emphasize something bad, to say that it is almost an extremely bad thingThe kitten looked half starved.He was half dead with exhaustion.I had been driven half out of my mind with worry.4a)half as much/big etc half the size, amount etc of something elseThe new machine has all the same functions, but is only half as large.b)half as much/big etc againBIG larger by an amount that is equal to half the original sizeA flat in London costs almost half as much again as a flat in Glasgow.5 →not half as/so good/interesting etc (as somebody/something)6 →not half7 →not half bad8 →half and half