• To reduce to half the original amount.
  • To divide into two halves.
  • To make up half of.
  • To join two pieces of timber etc. by cutting away each for half its thickness at the joining place, and fitting together.
  • In match play, to achieve a tie or draw on.


  • From Middle English halven, helven, from Old English hilfan, helfan, *hielfan, from Proto-West Germanic *halbijan, from Proto-Germanic *halbijanÄ…, from Proto-Germanic *halbaz.
  • Cognate with Middle Dutch halven, Middle High German halben, helben. Compare also West Frisian helte, Dutch halveren, German Low German halberen, German halbieren, Danish halvere, Swedish halvera.

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