Definition of at half-cock in English:

at half-cock

phrase

  • 1(of a gun) with the cock partly raised.

    • ‘Should I keep it at half cock with the safety on?’
    • ‘We test that by putting the hammer at half-cock, then suspending the gun by the trigger, so that the entire weight of the gun is bearing on the half-cock.’
    1. 1.1 When only partly ready.
      ‘the postponement saved the army from setting off another attack at half-cock’
      • ‘Never one to approach life at half-cock, she has indulged herself in jaunts here and there and the occasional spectacular jolly.’
      • ‘Which is that this is a competition gone off at half-cock, or rather, two competitions misfiring in unison.’
      • ‘Unfortunately for the British, its plans had been revealed to the Haganah and the operation went off at half-cock.’
      • ‘Scott Barron and Owen Casey persisted with the annoying gesture in a meaningless one-set knock-up against McEnroe and Jeremy Bates, despite the fact that the foreign pair were probably on court under sufferance, and at half-cock.’
      • ‘We've got this brand spanking-new ship working at half-cock.’
      rashly, overhastily, hastily, too soon, too early, precipitately, precipitously
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