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Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary
  • Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary offers learners of English detailed coverage of today’s language. Written in simple, natural English, this dictionary is exceptionally easy to use and understand. The examples, which have all been taken from the Bank of English®, part of the prestigious Collins Word Web, are invaluable in providing context for words and phrases. The user will also have quick and easy access to grammatical information and additional information on synonyms, pragmatics and frequency. Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary - the complete reference tool for learners of English. Bank of English® is a registered trademark of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


[hɑ͟ːvz, AM hæ̱vz]


  1. FRACTION Half of an amount or object is one of two equal parts that together make up the whole number, amount, or object.


    • Half is also a predeterminer. We just sat and talked for half an hour or so... They had only received half the money promised... She's half his age.

    ADJ: ADJ n

    • Half is also an adjective. ...₤4.75 for a half chicken tandoori. ...a half measure of fresh lemon juice... Steve barely said a handful of words during the first half hour.
  2. ADV: ADV adj, ADV before v You use half to say that something is only partly the case or happens to only a limited extent.

  3. N-COUNT: usu ord N In games such as football, soccer, and basketball, matches are divided into two equal periods of time which are called halves.

  4. N-COUNT A half is half a pint of a drink such as beer or cider. [BRIT]

  5. N-COUNT A half is a half-price bus or train ticket for a child. [BRIT]

  6. ADV: ADV adj You use half to say that someone has parents of different nationalities. For example, if you are half German, one of your parents is German but the other is not.

  7. PHR-PREP: usu PREP num You use half past to refer to a time that is thirty minutes after a particular hour.

  8. PREP: PREP num Half means the same as half past. [BRIT, INFORMAL]

  9. ADV: ADV adj (emphasis) You can use half before an adjective describing an extreme quality, as a way of emphasizing and exaggerating something. [INFORMAL]


    • Half can also be used in this way with a noun referring to a long period of time or a large quantity. I thought about you half the night... He wouldn't know what he was saying half the time... One phone call and half the city's police force will be around to arrest you.
  10. ADV: with neg, usu ADV before v, ADV adj/adv, ADV n, also ADV as reply (emphasis) Half is sometimes used in negative statements, with a positive meaning, to emphasize a particular fact or quality. For example, if you say `he isn't half lucky', you mean that he is very lucky. [BRIT, INFORMAL]

  11. ADV: with neg, ADV n, ADV as/so adj (emphasis) You use not half to emphasize a negative quality that someone has.

  12. PHRASE: usu v-link PHR (emphasis) When you use an expression such as a problem and a half or a meal and a half, you are emphasizing that your reaction to it is either very favourable or very unfavourable.

  13. PHRASE: poss PHR If you talk about your better half or your other half you mean your wife, your husband, or the person of the opposite sex that you live with. [INFORMAL]

  14. PHRASE: PHR after v If you increase something by half, half of the original amount is added to it. If you decrease it by half, half of the original amount is taken away from it.

  15. PHRASE: with brd-neg, V inflects If you say that someone never does things by halves, you mean that they always do things very thoroughly.

  16. PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR on n If two people go halves, they divide the cost of something equally between them.

  17. half the battle see battle

    half an ear see ear

    too clever by half see clever

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hɑ͟ːvz, AM hæ̱vzHalf of an amount or object is one of two equal parts that together make up the whole number, amount, or object.Examples

They need an extra two and a half thousand pounds to complete the project...
More than half of all households report incomes above ₤35,000...
Cut the tomatoes in half vertically...
The bridge was re-built in two halves...
The tough market would lead to 400 jobs being cut in the first half of this year.

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Word forms


Common casehalfhalves
Possessive casehalf'shalves'