Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

half

1 predeterminer, pronoun, adjective
     
half1 S1 W1 [only before noun]
1

50%

exactly or about 50% (½) of an amount, time, distance, number etc
half of
Over 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 etc
half a pound of butter
It's about half a mile down the road.
She drank half a bottle of wine.
a half hour/mile etc
You can't just waltz in a half hour late.
It's about a half mile down the road.
a half day excursion to the island
He demanded a half share of the money.
half the price/size/length etc
It's only half the size of a normal violin.
They offered to pay half the cost of repairs.
2

most of

the largest part of something
half of
We 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

time

half (past) one/two/three etc

British EnglishTMC thirty minutes after the hour mentioned:
I rang at about half six.
I got home at about half past one.
We'll be there by seven or half past.
4

combination

if something is half one thing and half something else, it is a combination of those two things:
He's half English, half Swiss.
5

half a dozen

a) HMN six:
half a dozen eggs
b) a small number of people or things:
There were half a dozen other people in front of me.
6

half a/the chance

a small opportunity to do something, especially one which someone would take eagerly:
I'd go to university if I got half the chance.
Many kids would sleep till noon given half a chance.
7

half an eye/ear

if you have half an eye on something, or if you are listening with half an ear, you are giving only part of your attention to it:
He listened with only half an ear and his thoughts wandered.
The teacher kept half an eye on them all through the lesson.
8

be half the battle

spoken used to say that when you have done the most difficult part of an activity, the rest is easy:
Getting the audience to like you is half the battle.
9

half a minute/moment/second etc

spoken a very short time:
Hold on, this will only take half a second.
10

only half the story

an explanation that is not complete, used especially to say that someone is trying to keep something secret:
Journalists are convinced that she was only telling them half the story.
11

have half a mind to do something

spoken used to say that you would like to do something but you probably will not do it:
He had half a mind to ask for his money back.
I have half a mind to tell your mother about this.
12

half measures

actions or methods that are not strong enough, and so are not effective in dealing with a difficult problem:
This is no time for half measures.
GRAMMAR GRAMMAR

!! You do not usually say 'the half' I've only read half of the story (NOT I've only read the half of the story). The only time you say 'the half' is when you are referring to a particular half the first half of the book!! Do not say 'one and half', 'two and half' etc. Say one and a half, two and a half etc She is two and a half years old. These numbers are followed by a plural noun, not a singular one one and a half days (NOT one and a half day)!! Do not say 'half of hour'. Say half an hour or, especially in spoken American English, a half hour.

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