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half the battle

A successful beginning, as in You've got the shopping list done—that's half the battle. This expression is an abbreviation of an 18th-century proverb, “The first blow is half the battle.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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