Definition of halve in English:



  • 1Divide into two parts of equal or roughly equal size.

    ‘peel and halve the pears’
    • ‘Soft-boil 4 eggs and cool immediately, peel and halve.’
    • ‘A traditional way of preserving pears is by halving and drying.’
    • ‘Whenever possible, cook squash, quartered or halved, in its skin.’
    • ‘If using onion, peel, halve and cut each half in thirds for thick wedges.’
    • ‘You're halving then quartering a bucked section of oak with the splitting maul.’
    • ‘Hull strawberries, peel and slice mango, core and chop pears and halve and stone plums.’
    • ‘I halved what remained of the sandwich and gave a half to him.’
    • ‘When ready to serve, peel the bananas then halve lengthways and cut each half across into quarters.’
    • ‘Pan-steaming preserves the shape of small greens, whole or halved lengthwise.’
    • ‘Peel the onion and halve along the length, keeping the base to hold the layers together.’
    • ‘Cut large eggplant into thick rounds; baby eggplant should be halved lengthwise.’
    • ‘Peel, halve and de-root the onion, and chop finely.’
    cut in half, divide into two equal parts, divide in two, split in two, sever in two, divide equally, share equally, bisect
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Reduce or be reduced by half.
      [no object] ‘profits are expected to halve after a tail-off in new customers’
      [with object] ‘his pledge to halve the deficit over the next four years’
      • ‘This means that the full-year dividend has been halved to 25p from 50p.’
      • ‘The text also urges countries to reform subsidies that favour industrialised countries or are harmful to the environment, and commits to halving the 2 billion people living without proper sanitation by 2015.’
      • ‘Stopping smoking leads to rapid reductions in mortality from cardiovascular disease: the excess risk roughly halved after one year of smoking abstinence.’
      • ‘Won't halving the government's legal enforcement budget eviscerate valuable regulations by discouraging necessary prosecutions?’
      • ‘Now, if that cell was then to divide, the fluorescence would be halved in the daughter cells.’
      • ‘A 6,000-seat Velopark will also later be halved in size, to include facilities for local restaurants and pubs.’
      • ‘Designed in 1908 by Adolf Loos, (who roughly shorthands as the Gaudi of Vienna), the American is tiny, and more than halved in size again by its huge full length counter.’
      • ‘Not only did swallow colony size almost halve with the disappearance of cattle, but birds that remained on these ‘cattle-free farms’ laid smaller clutches and were less likely to lay a second time.’
      • ‘Between 1812 to 1814, wheat, barley and oats all roughly halved in price.’
      • ‘The IMF said sweeping reforms were needed in almost every sector of the economy, which is thought to have halved in size between 1999 and 2003, when the invasion occurred.’
      • ‘The cost of sales roughly halved from £7.2m to £3.7m during the period.’
      • ‘Friends of the Earth has suggested that this could be halved in size to avoid damaging a peatland protected by European law because of its wildlife.’
      • ‘A long-established shop is to be halved in size because of a rent rise of almost 50 per cent.’
      • ‘ESA's quartet of Cluster spacecraft joined in the flurry of interest in this week's extreme solar activity, and saw Earth's magnetosphere halved in size.’
      • ‘In the US and Australia where large amounts of time and money have been spent on education and prevention programmes, premature deaths have been halved.’
      • ‘He tripled his herd size, halved his per cow production, and says its the only thing that makes sense.’
      • ‘The company will take a £550m exceptional charge this year and its final dividend will be halved to 7.8p.’
      • ‘This had the effect of virtually halving the magazine's accumulated losses to €129, 294.’
      • ‘While the disease has been halved in most counties over the past number of years, in west Laois, north Tipperary and south Offaly it has persisted at an unacceptably high level.’
      • ‘A tax on company dividends has been halved to 10 percent and taxes on long-term capital gains from new equity issues have been eliminated.’
      reduce by fifty per cent, decrease by fifty per cent, lessen by fifty per cent
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Share (something) equally with another person.
      ‘she insisted on halving the bill’
      • ‘Nice mistake Murray but you should maybe halve the winnings - she did pick the teams in the first place!’
      • ‘Such fun when they tally the bill and then halve it!’
    3. 1.3Golf Use the same number of strokes as one's opponent and thus tie (a hole or match)
      • ‘There was some respite for the spectators when the 14th was halved in par, but Hoey's tribulations at the 15th, when he visited the rough and a bunker, allowed Campbell to draw level for the third time.’
      • ‘They halved the 10th & 11th and Dermott won the 12th to reduce the deficit to 2.’
      • ‘They halved the first in pars, and shared the next two in birdies.’
      • ‘One down at the turn, O'Hara turned the match on its head to take the lead by the 12th and he hung on grimly, taking the 16th when the German put his approach shot in the burn and halving the 17th for victory.’
      • ‘The most spectacular recovery came from Stenson and Thomas Bjorn, who combined to win the 16th and 17th, with an eagle and a birdie respectively, before halving the 18th.’
  • 2Fit (crossing timbers) together by cutting out half the thickness of each.

    • ‘So, for building hardwood and softwood frames or repairing damaged timber around the house, a practical knowledge of halving joints is a real asset.’
    • ‘The timbers are halved and held together with wooden pins.’
    • ‘Lapping is performed in a variety of ways - either by simply halving the end of each timber, or by halving and dovetailing.’


Middle English: from half.