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From Middle Low German helfte, derived from half (half). The form entered Early Modern German via Central German. Equivalent to halb (half) +‎ -te. The alternation -b--ft- has not been levelled, probably because the same alternation occurs also—for different reasons—in native High German words (compare schreibenSchrift). Cognate with Dutch helft.


  • IPA(key): /ˈhɛlftə/
  • (file)


Hälfte f (genitive Hälfte, plural Hälften)

  1. half; fifty percent of something
    Jeder von uns kriegt die Hälfte.
    Each of us gets half.
  2. half, share; any of two correlating pieces, whatever the size
    Ich will die größere Hälfte!
    I want the bigger half!
  3. (chiefly informal) middle; the virtual line where two equal halves meet
    Hier ist die Hälfte vom Spielfeld.
    This is the middle of the pitch.


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