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[haf-hahr-tid, hahf-] /ˈhæfˈhɑr tɪd, ˈhɑf-/
having or showing little enthusiasm:
a halfhearted attempt to work.
Origin of halfhearted
1605-15; half + heart + -ed3
Related forms
halfheartedly, adverb
halfheartedness, noun
indifferent, uninterested, cold, cool, perfunctory.
enthusiastic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for half-hearted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • half-hearted England failed because treachery was lurking in her ranks from the beginning.

    Sketches of the Covenanters J. C. McFeeters
  • At any rate, I got only a half-hearted consent from her that I might start.

    Up From Slavery: An Autobiography Booker T. Washington
  • The threats of the military authorities only stirred them to half-hearted efforts.

    With the Turks in Palestine Alexander Aaronsohn
  • It was a half-hearted procedure without a shade of desire on her part.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • But either the burghers were half-hearted or there was no real intention to make a stand.

    The Great Boer War Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for half-hearted


without enthusiasm or determination
Derived Forms
half-heartedly, adverb
half-heartedness, noun
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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Word Origin and History for half-hearted

also halfhearted, early 15c.; see half + hearted. Related: halfheartedly; halfheartedness. English in 17c. also had half-headed "stupid."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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