Definition of halfpennyworth in English:


Line breaks: half|penny|worth
Pronunciation: /ˈheɪpəθ
, ˈheɪpnɪˌwəθ
(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)]
More 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!

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