in behalf of

behalf

[bih-haf, -hahf]
Idioms
1.
in/on behalf of, as a representative of or a proxy for: On behalf of my colleagues, I address you tonight.
2.
in/on someone's behalf, in the interest or aid of (someone): He interceded in my behalf.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English; Middle English bihalve, earlier as adv. and preposition with the sense “near(by),” orig. as prepositional phrase bi halve on one side; see be-, by, half

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World English Dictionary
behalf (bɪˈhɑːf)
 
n
interest, part, benefit, or respect (only in the phrases on (someone's) behalf, onor US and Canadianin behalf of, in this (orthat) behalf)
 
usage  On behalf of is sometimes wrongly used where on the part of is intended. The distinction is that on behalf of someone means `for someone's benefit' or `representing someone', while on the part of someone can be roughly paraphrased as `by someone'. So, the following example is incorrect: another act of apparent negligence, this time not on behalf of the company itself, but on behalf of its banker, when what was meant was there was negligence by the company's banker

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

behalf
c.1300, from O.E. (him) be healfe "by (his) side," and on (his) healfe "on (his) side," from healfe "side" (see half).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

in behalf of

Also, on behalf of.

  1. For someone else, as someone's agent or representative. For example, In behalf of the board, I want to thank you for your help, or Joan was speaking on behalf of the entire staff. [c. 1300]

  2. For someone's benefit or interest, as in He was collecting the dues in my behalf. [Late 1500s] Some authorities insist that in behalf of be used only to mean "for someone's benefit" and on behalf of only to mean "as someone's agent." In practice, however, the terms are so often used interchangeably that this distinction no longer has a basis.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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