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half Idioms & Phrases


A half cock

  • the position of the cock of a gun when retained by the first notch. half cocked: see below, halfcocked: = unprepared, lacking forethought; as in go off half cocked
Webster 1913

At half cock

  • . See under Half.
Webster 1913

Better half

  • noun a person's partner in marriage
    partner; married person; spouse; mate.
WordNet
  • an expression used to designate one's wife.
    My dear, my better half (said he), I find I must now leave thee. Sir P. Sidney.
Webster 1913

chance-half correlation

  • noun a correlation coefficient calculated between scores on two halves of a test; taken as an indication of the reliability of the test
    chance-half correlation.
WordNet

first half

  • noun the first of two halves of play
WordNet

go off at half-cock

  • verb act prematurely or without reflection or too soon
    go off at half-cock.
    • she wanted to quit her job but her mother told her not to go off half-cocked
WordNet

go off half-cocked

  • verb act prematurely or without reflection or too soon
    go off at half-cock.
    • she wanted to quit her job but her mother told her not to go off half-cocked
WordNet

half a dozen

  • noun the cardinal number that is the sum of five and one
    sixer; sestet; Captain Hicks; hexad; sise; VI; six; sextet; 6; sextuplet.
WordNet

Half ape

  • (Zoöl.), a lemur.
Webster 1913

Half back

  • . (Football) See under 2d Back.
Webster 1913

Half bent

  • the first notch, for the sear point to enter, in the tumbler of a gunlock; the halfcock notch.
Webster 1913

Half binding

  • noun book binding in which the spine and part of the sides are bound in one material and the rest in another
WordNet
  • a style of bookbinding in which only the back and corners are in leather.
Webster 1913

half blood

  • noun one of siblings who have only one parent in common
WordNet
Half" blood`
Definitions
  1. The relation between persons born of the same father or of the same mother, but not of both; as, a brother or sister of the half blood. See Blood, n., 2 and 4.
  2. A person so related to another.
  3. A person whose father and mother are of different races; a half-breed. ✍ In the 2d and 3d senses usually with a hyphen.
Webster 1913

Half boarder

  • one who boards in part; specifically, a scholar at a boarding school who takes dinner only.
Webster 1913

half boot

  • noun a boot reaching halfway up to the knee
    desert boot; buskin; combat boot; top boot.
WordNet

half brother

  • noun a brother who has only one parent in common with you
    half brother; stepbrother.
WordNet

Half cadence

  • (Mus.), a cadence on the dominant.
Webster 1913

Half cap

  • a slight salute with the cap. Obs. Shak.
Webster 1913

half cross stitch

  • noun a single cross stitch at a diagonal
WordNet

half crown

  • noun an English coin worth half a crown
WordNet

half dollar

  • noun a United States coin worth half of a dollar
    fifty-cent piece.
WordNet

half door

  • noun an exterior door divided in two horizontally; either half can be closed or open independently
    Dutch door.
WordNet

half dozen

  • adjective satellite denoting a quantity consisting of six items or units
    vi; half dozen; six; 6.
WordNet

half eagle

  • noun a former gold coin in United States worth 5 dollars
WordNet

half gainer

  • noun a dive in which the diver throws the feet forward and up to complete a half backward somersault and enters the water facing the diving board
WordNet

half hatchet

  • noun a hatchet with a broad blade on one end and a hammer head of the other
WordNet

Half hitch

  • noun a knot used to fasten a rope temporarily to an object; usually tied double
WordNet
  • a sailor's knot in a rope; half of a clove hitch.
Webster 1913

Half hose

  • short stockings; socks.
Webster 1913

half life

  • noun the time required for something to fall to half its initial value (in particular, the time for half the atoms in a radioactive substance to disintegrate)
    half life.
WordNet

half mask

  • noun a mask covering the upper part of the face but with holes for the eyes
    domino; eye mask.
WordNet

Half measure

  • an imperfect or weak line of action.
Webster 1913

half mile

  • noun a unit of length equal to half of 1 mile
    880 yards.
WordNet

half nelson

  • noun a wrestling hold in which the holder puts an arm under the opponent's arm and exerts pressure on the back of the neck
WordNet

Half note

  • noun a musical note having the time value of half a whole note
    minim.
WordNet
  • (Mus.), a minim, one half of a semibreve.
Webster 1913

half page

  • noun something that covers (the top or bottom) half of a page
WordNet

Half pay

  • half of the wages or salary; reduced pay; as, an officer on half pay.
Webster 1913

half pound

  • noun 8 ounces avoirdupois
WordNet

Half price

  • half the ordinary price; or a price much reduced.
Webster 1913

half rest

  • noun a musical rest having the time value of half a whole rest or equal in duration to two beats in common time
WordNet

Half round

  • . (a) (Arch.) A molding of semicircular section. (b) (Mech.) Having one side flat and the other rounded; said of a file.
Webster 1913

half seas over

Half" seas` o`ver
Definitions
  1. Half drunk. Slang: used only predicatively. Spectator.
Webster 1913

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.
Webster 1913

half sister

  • noun a sister who has only one parent in common with you
    stepsister; half sister.
WordNet

half snipe

  • noun a small short-billed Old World snipe
    Limnocryptes minima; jacksnipe.
WordNet

half sole

  • noun shoe sole extending from the shank to the toe
WordNet

Half step

  • noun the musical interval between adjacent keys on a keyboard instrument
    semitone.
WordNet
  • (Mus.), a semitone; the smallest difference of pitch or interval, used in music.
Webster 1913

Half tide

  • the time or state of the tide equally distant from ebb and flood.
Webster 1913

Half time

  • half the ordinary time for work or attendance; as, the half-time system.
Webster 1913

Half tint

  • (Fine Arts), a middle or intermediate tint, as in drawing or painting. See Demitint.
Webster 1913

half title

  • noun a first page of some books displaying only the title of the book
    bastard title.
WordNet

half track

  • noun a motor vehicle propelled by half tracks; frequently used by the military
  • noun a track that goes around only rear wheels
WordNet

Half truth

  • a statement only partially true, or which gives only a part of the truth. Mrs. Browning.
Webster 1913

half volley

  • noun a tennis return made by hitting the ball immediately after it bounces
WordNet

Half year

  • the space of six moths; one term of a school when there are two terms in a year.
Webster 1913

half-and-half

  • noun half milk and half light cream; contains 10% to 18% butterfat
  • adjective satellite in equal parts
    • a half-and-half mixture
  • adverb in equal parts
    • it was divided half-and-half
WordNet
Half`-and-half" noun
Definitions
  1. A mixture of two malt liquors, esp. porter and ale, in about equal parts. Dickens.
Webster 1913

half-and-half dressing

  • noun half mayonnaise and half vinaigrette seasoned with minced garlic and mashed anchovies and grated Parmesan cheese; especially good for combination salads
WordNet

half-baked

  • adjective satellite foolish; totally unsound
    crazy; softheaded; screwball.
    • a crazy scheme
    • half-baked ideas
    • a screwball proposal without a prayer of working
  • adjective satellite insufficiently cooked
    underdone.
WordNet

half-blooded

  • adjective satellite (of animals) having only one purebred parent
    half-bred; half-blooded.
WordNet
Half"-blood`ed adjective
Definitions
  1. Proceeding from a male and female of different breeds or races; having only one parent of good stock; as, a half-blooded sheep.
  2. Degenerate; mean.
Webster 1913

half-boot

Half"-boot` noun
Definitions
  1. A boot with a short top covering only the ankle. See Cocker, and Congress boot, under Congress.
Webster 1913

half-bound

  • adjective satellite (of books) having the back bound in one material and the sides in another
WordNet
Half"-bound` noun
Definitions
  1. Having only the back and corners in leather, as a book.
Webster 1913

Half-breadth plan

  • (Shipbuilding), a horizontal plan of the half a vessel, divided lengthwise, showing the lines.
Webster 1913

half-bred

  • adjective satellite (of animals) having only one purebred parent
    half-bred; half-blooded.
WordNet
Half"-bred` adjective
Definitions
  1. Half-blooded. Obs.
  2. Imperfectly acquainted with the rules of good-breeding; not well trained. Atterbury.
Webster 1913

half-breed

  • noun an offensive term for an offspring of parents of different races (especially of Caucasian and American Indian ancestry)
  • adjective satellite (of animals) having only one purebred parent
    half-bred; half-blooded.
WordNet
Half"-breed` adjective
Definitions
  1. Half-blooded.
Half"-breed` noun
Definitions
  1. A person who is blooded; the offspring of parents of different races, especially of the American Indian and the white race.
Webster 1913

half-brother

  • noun a brother who has only one parent in common with you
    half brother; stepbrother.
WordNet
Half"-broth`er noun
Definitions
  1. A brother by one parent, but not by both.
Webster 1913

half-caste

  • noun an offensive term for the offspring of parents of different races or cultures
WordNet
Half"-caste` noun
Definitions
  1. One born of a European parent on the one side, and of a Hindoo or Mohammedan on the other. Also adjective; as, half-caste parents.
Webster 1913

half-century

  • noun a period of 50 years
WordNet

half-clammed

Half"-clammed` adjective
Definitions
  1. Half-filled. Obs.
    Lions' half-clammed entrails roar food. Marston.
Webster 1913

half-clothed

  • adjective satellite inadequately clothed
    underclothed; scantily clad.
WordNet

half-cock

  • noun confusion resulting from lack of preparation
WordNet

half-cracked

Half"-cracked` adjective
Definitions
  1. Half-demented; half-witted. Colloq.
Webster 1913

half-crazed

  • adjective satellite driven insane
    crazed; deranged.
WordNet

half-deck

Half"-deck` noun
Definitions
  1. (Zoöl.) A shell of the genus Crepidula; a boat shell. See Boat shell.
  2. See Half deck, under Deck.
Webster 1913

half-decked

Half"-decked` adjective
Definitions
  1. Partially decked.
    The half-decked craft . . . used by the latter Vikings. Elton.
Webster 1913

half-dozen

  • adjective satellite denoting a quantity consisting of six items or units
    vi; half dozen; six; 6.
WordNet

half-evergreen

  • adjective satellite of a plant that is incompletely evergreen
    semi-evergreen.
    • it was evergreen where the weather was mild but deciduous in the rigorous parts of the range
WordNet

half-faced

Half"-faced` adjective
Definitions
  1. Showing only part of the face; wretched looking; meager. Shak.
Webster 1913

half-fish

Half"-fish` noun
Definitions
  1. (Zoöl.) A salmon in its fifth year of growth. Prov. Eng.
Webster 1913

half-free morel

  • noun a morel with the ridged and pitted fertile portion attached to the stipe for about half its length
    cow's head; Morchella semilibera.
WordNet

half-hardy

  • adjective satellite (of plants) requiring protection from frost
    • half-hardy annuals
WordNet

half-hatched

Half"-hatched` adjective
Definitions
  1. Imperfectly hatched; as, half-hatched eggs. Gay.
Webster 1913

half-heard

Half"-heard` adjective
Definitions
  1. Imperfectly or partly heard to the end.
    And leave half-heard the melancholy tale. Pope.
Webster 1913

half-hearted

  • adjective satellite feeling or showing little interest or enthusiasm
    tepid; halfhearted; lukewarm.
    • a halfhearted effort
    • gave only lukewarm support to the candidate
WordNet
Half"-heart`ed adjective
Definitions
  1. Wanting in heart or spirit; ungenerous; unkind. B. Jonson.
  2. Lacking zeal or courage; lukewarm. (of actions) not performed with full effort H. James.
Webster 1913

half-heartedly

  • adverb without enthusiasm; in a half-hearted manner
    • she tried half-heartedly
WordNet

half-holiday

  • noun a day on which half is free from work or duty
WordNet

half-hour

  • noun a half of an hour
    30 minutes.
WordNet

half-hourly

  • adjective satellite occurring ever half hour
  • adverb every thirty minutes, every half hour
WordNet
Half"-hour`ly adjective
Definitions
  1. Done or happening at intervals of half an hour.
Webster 1913

half-intensity

  • noun half the maximum intensity
WordNet

half-learned

Half"-learned` adjective
Definitions
  1. Imperfectly learned.
Webster 1913

half-length

  • noun a portrait showing the body from only the waist up
  • adjective satellite representing only the upper half of the body
    • a half-length portrait
  • adjective satellite abridged to half its original length
WordNet
Half"-length` adjective
Definitions
  1. Of half the whole or ordinary length, as a picture.
Webster 1913

half-life

  • noun the time required for something to fall to half its initial value (in particular, the time for half the atoms in a radioactive substance to disintegrate)
    half life.
WordNet

half-light

  • noun a greyish light (as at dawn or dusk or in dim interiors)
WordNet

half-mast

  • noun a position some distance below the top of a mast to which a flag is lowered in mourning or to signal distress
    half-mast.
WordNet
Half"-mast` noun
Definitions
  1. A point some distance below the top of a mast or staff; as, a flag a half-mast (a token of mourning, etc.).
Webster 1913

half-moon

  • noun the crescent-shaped area at the base of the human fingernail
    lunula; lunule.
  • noun the time at which the Moon is at first or last quarter when half its face is illuminated
WordNet
Half"-moon` noun
Definitions
  1. The moon at the quarters, when half its disk appears illuminated.
  2. The shape of a half-moon; a crescent.
    See how in warlike muster they appear, In rhombs, and wedges, and half-moons, and wings. Milton.
  3. (Fort.) An outwork composed of two faces, forming a salient angle whose gorge resembles a half-moon; -- now called a ravelin.
  4. (Zoöl.) A marine, sparoid, food fish of California (Cæsiosoma Californiense). The body is ovate, blackish above, blue or gray below. Called also medialuna.
Webster 1913

half-pay

  • noun reduced wage paid to someone who is not working full time
WordNet

half-pike

Half"-pike` noun
Definitions
  1. (Mil.) A short pike, sometimes carried by officers of infantry, sometimes used in boarding ships; a spontoon. Tatler.
Webster 1913

half-pint

  • noun disparaging terms for small people
    peewee; runt; shrimp.
WordNet

half-port

Half"-port` noun
Definitions
  1. (Naut.) One half of a shutter made in two parts for closing a porthole.
Webster 1913

half-price

  • adverb for half the price
    • she bought it half-price during the sale
WordNet

half-ray

Half"-ray` noun
Definitions
  1. (Geom.) A straight line considered as drawn from a center to an indefinite distance in one direction, the complete ray being the whole line drawn to an indefinite distance in both directions.
Webster 1913

half-read

Half"-read` adjective
Definitions
  1. Informed by insufficient reading; superficial; shallow. Dryden.
Webster 1913

half-relief

  • noun a sculptural relief between low relief and high relief
    mezzo-rilievo; mezzo-relievo.
WordNet

half-seas-over

  • adjective satellite British informal for `intoxicated'
WordNet

half-sighted

Half"-sight`ed adjective
Definitions
  1. Seeing imperfectly; having weak discernment. Bacon.
Webster 1913

half-sister

  • noun a sister who has only one parent in common with you
    stepsister; half sister.
WordNet
Half"-sis`ter noun
Definitions
  1. A sister by one parent only.
Webster 1913

half-size

  • adjective satellite half the usual or regular size
WordNet

half-slip

  • noun undergarment worn under a skirt
    underskirt; petticoat.
WordNet

half-staff

  • noun a position some distance below the top of a mast to which a flag is lowered in mourning or to signal distress
    half-mast.
WordNet

half-strained

Half"-strained` adjective
Definitions
  1. Half-bred; imperfect. R. "A half-strained villain." Dryden.
Webster 1913

half-sword

Half"-sword` noun
Definitions
  1. Half the length of a sword; close fight. "At half-sword." Shak.
Webster 1913

half-term

  • noun a short vacation about halfway through a school term
    • he came to visit at half-term
WordNet

half-timber

  • adjective satellite having exposed wood framing with spaces filled with masonry, as in Tudor architecture
    half-timber.
WordNet

half-timbered

  • adjective satellite having exposed wood framing with spaces filled with masonry, as in Tudor architecture
    half-timber.
WordNet
Half"-tim`bered adjective
Definitions
  1. (Arch.) Constructed of a timber frame, having the spaces filled in with masonry; -- said of buildings.
Webster 1913

half-time

  • adjective satellite involving half the standard or customary time for an activity
    • he had two years of half-time training
  • adverb for less than the standard number of hours
    part-time.
    • he works part-time
WordNet

half-tounue

Half"-tounue` noun
Definitions
  1. (O. Law) A jury, for the trial of a fore foreigner, composed equally of citizens and aliens.
Webster 1913

half-track

  • adjective satellite having caterpillar treads on the rear and wheels in front
    half-track.
    • half-track armored vehicles
WordNet

half-tracked

  • adjective satellite having caterpillar treads on the rear and wheels in front
    half-track.
    • half-track armored vehicles
WordNet

half-truth

  • noun a partially true statement intended to deceive or mislead
WordNet

half-wit

  • noun a person of subnormal intelligence
    retard; idiot; imbecile; changeling; moron; cretin.
  • noun a stupid incompetent person
    nitwit; dimwit; doofus.
WordNet
Half"-wit` noun
Definitions
  1. A foolish; a dolt; a blockhead; a dunce. Dryden.
Webster 1913

half-witted

  • adjective satellite retarded in intellectual development
    feebleminded; backward; slow-witted.
WordNet
Half"-wit`ted adjective
Definitions
  1. Weak in intellect; silly.
Webster 1913

half-yearly

  • adjective satellite occurring or payable twice each year
    biyearly; semiannual; biannual.
  • adverb every half year, every six months
WordNet
Half"-year`ly adjective
Definitions
  1. Two in a year; semiannual. -- adv. Twice in a year; semiannually.
Webster 1913

hell's half acre

  • noun a district in Manhattan formerly noted for its slums and vice
    Hell's Kitchen.
WordNet

In half

  • in two; an expression sometimes used improperly instead of in ∨ into halves; as, to cut in half. Colloq. Dickens.
Webster 1913

In, ∨ On, one's half

  • in one's behalf; on one's part. Obs.
Webster 1913

last half

  • noun the second of two halves of play
    last half.
WordNet

one-half

  • noun one of two equal parts of a divisible whole
    half.
    • half a loaf
    • half an hour
    • a century and one half
WordNet

second half

  • noun the second of two halves of play
    last half.
WordNet

split-half correlation

  • noun a correlation coefficient calculated between scores on two halves of a test; taken as an indication of the reliability of the test
    chance-half correlation.
WordNet

time and a half

  • noun a rate of pay that is 1.5 times the regular rate; for overtime work
WordNet

To cry halves

  • to claim an equal share with another.
Webster 1913

To go halves

  • to share equally between two.
Webster 1913

To hang the flag half-mast high ∨ half-staff

  • to raise it only half way to the mast or staff, as a token or sign of mourning.
Webster 1913

To meet half way

  • literally, to go half the distance between in order to meet (one); hence, figuratively, to yield or concede half of the difference in order to effect a compromise or reconciliation with.
Webster 1913