better half

(redirected from better part)
Also found in: Legal.

(one's) better half

One's significant other (typically one's spouse). Oh, there's my better half! Honey, come say hi to some of my work friends! A: "Wait, Jennie is Ken's better half?" B: "Oh yeah, they've been married for years."
See also: better, half

better half

1. Also, better part. The larger amount or majority of something, as in I won't be long; the better half of this job is complete, or I have spent the better part of my life in this city. Sir Philip Sidney used the first term in Arcadia (1580): "I ... shall think the better half of it already achieved." The variant appears in a well-known proverb, discretion is the better part of valor.
2. Also, my better half. One's (my) spouse, as in I'm not sure if we can go; I'll have to check with my better half. Originally this expression meant "a close friend or lover," and by the 16th century it referred to either a wife or lover. Sidney used it in this way, again in Arcadia: "My dear, my better half (said he), I find I must now leave thee." Today it tends to be used lightly for either husband or wife. "Late 1500s"
See also: better, half
References in classic literature ?
The Pyncheons, in brief, lived along, for the better part of two centuries, with perhaps less of outward vicissitude than has attended most other New England families during the same period of time.
Strange as my circumstances were, the terms of this debate are as old and commonplace as man; much the same inducements and alarms cast the die for any tempted and trembling sinner; and it fell out with me, as it falls with so vast a majority of my fellows, that I chose the better part and was found wanting in the strength to keep to it.
Hyde was thenceforth impossible; whether I would or not, I was now confined to the better part of my existence; and O, how I rejoiced to think of it
If here and there he was dissatisfied or puzzled, he must acquiesce; she was choosing the better part.
I had spent the better part of the night at the bedside of the worshipful Governor Winthrop, doing what my poor skill might to give him ease.
33-34 on BoMs should read: "For example, if a BOM specs out a capacitor at a 5% tolerance, but the assembly house receives a better part with a lower 1 to 2% tolerance, they would normally consult the customer/OEM about using the lower tolerance part since it is a deviation from the BOM.
better part : more than half <We waited the better part of an hour.
A large site on Route 1 in Edison deserves the finest contemporary development, and we have invested the better part of two years blending the hottest retail concepts with Edison's desire for a family-oriented facility with a classic design and manageable scale," says Emanuel Stern, President and COO of Hartz Mountain Industries.
The contentious negotiations unfolded for the better part of a year, with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's attempts to wrest control of the 720,000-student, 700-school district away from the school board hanging as the backdrop.
According to Garry Wills in What Jesus Meant, when Jesus told Mary that she had chosen the better part than Martha, he was defending her decision to "enter the world of the learned .
Much of the content may seem like old news to executives who've been dealing with the law's compliance demands for the better part of three years.
Steve Bell, by contrast, has had a full-time Christian music ministry for the better part of two decades.
As well, Warlow noted that "the benefits of standard services are, for the better part, not known," but McMillan stressed that most of those standard services that she was familiar with "fall seriously short of the sort of service" that was evaluated in the study.
The fact that it went so wrong (20 million soldiers were killed, wiping out the better part of a generation of the young men of Europe; another 20 million were wounded, many grievously; and another 20 million people died in the 1918 flu epidemic fueled by troops returning home from the war fronts) and destroyed both the German and the Austria-Hungarian governments should be a cautionary tale to other people contemplating "preemptive" wars.
Our decision not to appeal is a perfect example of discretion being the better part of valor," said attorney Ellis Rubin, who represented the couples.
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