• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Half-sword häf"sōrd` Half the length of a sword; close fight. "At half-sword ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n half-sword Half a sword's length.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Half-sword (Shak.) fight within half a sword's length: close fight
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. healf (Ger. halb, Dan. halv); original meaning 'side.'


In literature:

Guide," he added, turning fiercely to Raoul, and half-drawing his sword, "what's this?
"The Rifle Rangers" by Captain Mayne Reid
The black slave had a sword with only half a blade, and a gun without a lock.
"The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan" by James Morier
If I had a sword in my hand this moment, I would cut off his head, as a man cuts an orange in half.
"Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6" by Charles H. Sylvester
Each spine was like a South Sea Islander's sword, set for half its length with shark's teeth.
"Wood Folk at School" by William J. Long
Then a whistling sound as half a dozen swords were snatched from the scabbards.
"In Kings' Byways" by Stanley J. Weyman
Instantly Sir Geraint turned, with sword half drawn, and the dwarf cowed and pulled back.
"King Arthur's Knights" by Henry Gilbert
Behind him were a bunk, two chairs and a rack of small arms, containing half a dozen guns, four brace of pistols, and several swords.
"The Black Buccaneer" by Stephen W. Meader
He half drew his sword and peered forward.
"The Traitors" by E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim
He wagged his head and the long black sword made a half-circle.
"Tales of Fishes" by Zane Grey
The officers half drew their swords.
"Boys' Book of Indian Warriors" by Edwin L. Sabin
They won't git near enough you to hit you with a sword half a mile long.
"Si Klegg, Book 6 (of 6) Si And Shorty, With Their Boy Recruits, Enter On The Atlanta Campaign" by John McElroy
There stood the magic sword, its jewelled hilt and half the shining blade revealed.
"Historic Tales, Vol. XIII (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Below this lay a sword, half drawn from its scabbard, the pommel being of stone of many colors.
"Historic Tales, Vol 14 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Half a dozen swords stabbed deep into its wood, so closely were they upon him.
"The Time Mirror" by Clark South
It was owing to this fact that more than half of our wounded were injured by sword-cuts.
"Reminiscences of the Great Mutiny 1857-59" by William Forbes-Mitchell
Why, I must have made half the wooden swords used by the children of Paris; and I was great in the trumpet line.
"The Mysteries of Paris, Volume 5 of 6" by Eugène Sue
He half rejoiced that each item stabbed his breast like a sharp sword.
"The Undying Past" by Hermann Sudermann
Swords half drawn and hotter words to follow were intercepted by Gabrielle herself.
"A Blot on the Scutcheon" by May Wynne
Rising to a half kneel, he next lifted the sword above his head, his left hand moving up to seize the hilt in a powerful two-handed grip.
"Project Daedalus" by Thomas Hoover
Guards around Jadar already had their swords half drawn.
"The Moghul" by Thomas Hoover

In poetry:

Pale Conrad shrunk, but grasp'd his sword;
Fear thrill'd in every vein;
His quiv'ring lip half-spoke its word;
He paus'd, and shrunk again.
"Night Scenes Of Other Times" by Joanna Baillie
A helmet and sword are engraved on the stone,
Half hidden by yonder willow;
There he sleeps, whose death in battle was won,
But he died on his own home pillow.
"The Soldier's Grave" by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Lord Bateman then in passion flew,
And broke his sword in splinters three,
Saying, "I will give half of my father's land,
If so be as Sophia has crossed the sea."
"The Loving Ballad Of Lord Bateman" by Andrew Lang
But the half-part perish from hunger by the wayside,
The other half by the sword of the heathen,
The pest awaits the pilgrim in Nazareth,—
Wast Thou there, or wast Thou not there?
"Ivar Ingemundson's Lay" by Bjornstjerne Bjornson
Ragged and grim on the parched hill-rim,
The cottonwoods sulk in gray:
The guiding word of the plowman is heard
A dream-thralled mile away — half blurred,
Wounding the calm as a blunted sword.
"Prarie Storm Rune" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
"Hast thou seen the pride of Moab? For the swords about his path,
"His bond is to Philistia, in half of all he hath.
"And he dare not draw the sword
"Till Gaza give the word,
"And he show release from Askalon and Gath.
"The Peace of Dives" by Rudyard Kipling

In news:

Over the past half-century, both have been frequently at sword's point and twice at war.
Grace Christian Academy lived by the sword in the first half Friday against Chattanooga Boyd Buchanan.
Watch video of Gavin attempting to chop a pumpkin in half with a samurai sword.

In science:

The three players each has a knife at the point that would cut the right piece to the sword in half, according to their own valuation.
On the Complexity of Envy-Free Cake Cutting