a particular person or thing considered as an impressive example of the kind specified – informal
1998 - Sarah Waters - Tipping the Velvet – The daughter must be a beauty and a half…if the mother is so eager to keep her safe and close, away from young men’s eyes.
at half cock
when only partly ready – informal
At half cock is used of a firearm with the cock lifted but not moved to the position at which the trigger will act. It is usually found in go off at half cock or go off half-cocked meaning go ahead without making proper preparation and therefore fail.
half the battle
an important step towards achieving something
half a chance
the slightest opportunity – informal
1970 - Nina Bawden - The Birds on the Trees – Give her half a chance and she’ll make you think black’s white.
half an eye
a slight degree of perception or attention
1962 - Cyprian Ekwensi - Burning Grass – His sandals were new because it was market day or perhaps he had half an eye to some maiden.
half a loaf
not as much as you want but better than nothing
This phrase alludes to the proverb half a loaf is better than no bread which has been in use since the mid 16th century.
the half of it
the most important part or aspect of something – informal
1987 - George Turner - Sea & Summer Mum... would ask, ‘But is this true?’ and Billy... would tell her that wasn’t the half of it.
how the other half lives
used to express or allude to the way of life of a different group in society, especially a wealthier one - British informal
not do things by halves
do things thoroughly or extravagantly
not nearly as
not at all – informal
to an extreme degree
very much so - British informal
too bad by half
used to emphasize something bad – British
1994 - Independent on Sunday - The idea that moving a few pot plants around a room can
bring its occupant prosperity and well-being seems too superstitious by half.