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[half-duhz-uh n, hahf-] /ˈhælfˈdʌz ən, ˈhɑf-/
one half of a dozen; six.
considering six as a unit; consisting of six.
Origin of half-dozen
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for half-dozen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I have not seen a half-dozen who did not damn the President.

    The Boys of '61 Charles Carleton Coffin.
  • To the casual observer he might have been any one of a half-dozen of his playmates.

    Tales of the Malayan Coast Rounsevelle Wildman
  • The signal was answered by a general throwing down of tools, and the half-dozen men at work made their way towards the tent.

    The Great Gold Rush W. H. P. (William Henry Pope) Jarvis
  • A half-dozen boys hung on every word as the utterance of an oracle.

    The Clansman Thomas Dixon
  • A steady sergeant and half-dozen men are quickly posted as a guard.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
British Dictionary definitions for half-dozen


(preceded by a)
  1. six or a group of six: a half-dozen roses
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as singular or plural): at least a half-dozen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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