Definition of halfpennyworth in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈheɪpəθ/
(also ha'p'orth)


1As much as could be bought for a halfpenny: a halfpennyworth of fish and chips
More example sentences
  • Mary Ann Chapman threw a halfpenny on the table and said ‘Go and get a halfpennyworth of soap.’
  • I then carried home my provision, and eat some more cheese with the other roll, and a halfpennyworth of apples by way of relish, and took a drink of water.
  • ‘We never got a ha'porth's change of 'im’ - that is, we had to pay the full price for everything.
1.1 [usually with negative] (ha'p'orth) informal A negligible amount: he’s never been a ha’p'orth of bother
More example sentences
  • The environment should not be sacrificed for a ha'p'orth.
  • If the House of Commons are absolutely determined to do this foolish thing, then what the Prime Minister says will not make a ha'p'orth of difference.
  • Political balance on the Employers' Organisation has shifted marginally in the Tories' favour, but ‘is not going to make a halfpennyworth of difference to negotiating positions’, says an official.


don't spoil the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar

proverb Don’t risk the failure of a large project by trying to economize on trivial things.
Referring to the use of tar to keep flies off sores on sheep (from dialect pronunciation of sheep as ship)
Example sentences
  • Please remember not to spoil the ship for a halfpennyworth of tar.
  • There are no short-cuts in brightwork so take your time and don't spoil the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar!

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: half|penny|worth

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