Definition of behalf in US English:



  • 1In the interests of a person, group, or principle.

    ‘votes cast by labor unions on behalf of their members’
    • ‘In the previously more common subsidized loan, the state pays the interest on the student 's behalf while he or she is attending school.’
    • ‘That means if someone starts to campaign on their behalf, so to speak, and breaks the rules, they can be held liable.’
    • ‘The full mortgage repayment, including interest and capital, is paid on their behalf.’
    • ‘The hospital is also keen to hear from those interested in fundraising on its behalf.’
    • ‘Water voles are making a comeback in East Yorkshire, thanks to backing from farmers and landowners for a campaign on their behalf.’
    • ‘Speaking through an interpreter, he told the Daily Echo: ‘Thank you to everyone who has campaigned on my behalf.’’
    • ‘Would you please let me know if you have authority from your principal to accept service of process on its behalf.’
    • ‘Many of our California members worked hard on my behalf, and I want to thank them for their assistance.’
    • ‘There were so many prayers that were offered and we're so grateful to everyone for all that they did on Elizabeth's behalf and on our behalf.’
    • ‘In turn, the organization will negotiate on your behalf for lower interest rates and a more convenient payment option.’
    in the interests of, in support of, for, for the benefit of, for the good of, for the sake of, to the advantage of, to the profit of, on account of
    View synonyms
  • 2As a representative of.

    ‘he had to attend the funeral on Mama's behalf’
    • ‘Her husband Jack, who attended the ceremony on her behalf, was choked with emotion as he collected her award.’
    • ‘I'm selling this on behalf of my soon-to-be Mother-in-Law (who doesn't "get" eBay).’
    • ‘He said: ‘In these circumstances we would ask the local force to attend on our behalf.’’
    • ‘Your surveyor or solicitor can attend the sale and bid on your behalf.’
    • ‘I am writing on behalf of my partner.’
    • ‘He traveled to Madrid with one of the couple's children to accept an award on his wife's behalf.’
    • ‘On behalf of my colleagues it gives me pleasure to welcome Mark on to the Board of Directors.’
    • ‘Daniel, who was on holiday in France and could not attend, sent his father to accept the award on his behalf.’
    • ‘On behalf of my family and my father, I'd like to thank the council and the city of Los Angeles for this great honor.’
    • ‘On behalf of my family, I'd like to express our deep appreciation for the overwhelming care and sympathy we have received.’
    • ‘Her father, Tom, attended on her behalf.’
    as a representative of, as a spokesperson for, for, in the name of, with power of attorney for, in place of, on the authority of, at the behest of
    View synonyms
  • 3On the part of; done by.

    ‘this wasn't simply a philanthropic gesture on his behalf’
    • ‘It is a gesture of goodwill on behalf of the retailer to allow the sweater to be changed for one of a different colour or size.’
    • ‘The process took two years to complete and represented an enormous commitment on their behalf.’
    • ‘It's a nice gesture on their behalf.’
    • ‘This is a huge commitment on their behalf, but in my opinion is an even greater commitment for the wives and children to undertake.’
    • ‘This represents a compromise on behalf of the surgeon.’
    as a representative of, as a spokesperson for, for, in the name of, with power of attorney for, in place of, on the authority of, at the behest of
    View synonyms


Middle English: from a mixture of the earlier phrases on his halve and bihalve him, both meaning ‘on his side’ (see by, half).