"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[haf-ouuh r, -ou-er, hahf-] /ˈhæfˈaʊər, -ˈaʊ ər, ˈhɑf-/
a period of 30 minutes.
the midpoint between the hours:
The clock struck on the half-hour.
of, relating to, or consisting of a half-hour:
half-hour programs.
Origin of half-hour
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-hour
  • During the first half-hour they should be covered, watched carefully, and frequently turned.
  • Bake one hour in slow oven, covering the first half-hour of baking.
  • Cover closely, and cook slowly three hours, uncovering for the last half-hour.
  • Tired and unstrung as he must be by the devoted labors of the last half-hour, he is in no condition to effect a rescue.
  • My father always excelled in improving every spare half-hour or three-quarters of an hour, whether for work or enjoyment.
  • Tickets are required and are distributed one half-hour prior to each performance.
  • The lamp runs on a half-hour cycle, switching itself off after you have switched off.
  • Generators are currently required to sell their output through a central pool in which distributors bid every half-hour.
  • They altered the broadcasting schedule, issuing only news bulletins that went on the air every half-hour.
  • But going to town to buy it imposes a small cost: a half-hour walk, say, or a bus ticket.
British Dictionary definitions for half-hour


  1. a period of 30 minutes
  2. (as modifier): a half-hour stint on the treadmill
  1. the point of time 30 minutes after the beginning of an hour
  2. (as modifier): a half-hour chime
Derived Forms
half-hourly, adverb, adjective
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-hour

early 15c., from half + hour. Related: Half-hourly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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