Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: heure, from Latin hora, from Greek


hour S1 W1 [countable]

60 minutes

written abbreviation hrTMC a unit for measuring time. There are 60 minutes in one hour, and 24 hours in one day.COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
for an hour/two hours/three hours etc in an hour/in an hour's time (=when an hour has passed) an hour/two hours etc later an hour/two hours etc ago/earlier within hours (of something) (=only a few hours after something) half an hour also a half hour American English (a) quarter of an hour three quarters of an hour an hour's work (=work that it took you an hour to do) an hour's walk/drive miles/kilometres per hour (=used in speeds) £10/$5.50 etc an hour (=used to say how much someone is paid or how much you pay to use something) pay/charge by the hour (=pay or charge someone according to the number of hours it takes to do something)
The interview will last about two hours.
I study for an hour every night.
I'll be back in three hours.
Three hours later he was back.
Her bag was stolen within hours of her arrival.
You weren't interested in my story a half hour ago.
It takes about a quarter of an hour to walk into town.
hour of
After four hours of talks, an agreement was reached.
The hotel is only an hour's drive from the airport.
a top speed of 120 miles an hour
This was freelance work, paid by the hour.
a five- hour delay

business/work etc


[plural] a fixed period of time in the day when a particular activity, business etc happens:
hours of business 9.00-5.00
office/opening hours
Please call during office hours.
working hours/hours of work
the advantages of flexible working hours
visiting hours (=the time when you can visit someone in hospital)
after hours (=after the time when a business, especially a bar, is supposed to close)

(work) long/regular etc hours

if you work long, regular etc hours, the period that you work is longer than usual, always the same etc:
the long hours worked by hospital doctors
Many hospital staff have to work unsocial hours (=work in the evenings so that you cannot spend time with family or friends).
work all the hours God sends (=work all the time that you can)

time of day

a particular period or point of time during the day or night
in the early/small hours (of the morning) (=between around midnight and two or three o'clock in the morning)
There was a knock on the door in the early hours of the morning.
Who can be calling at this late hour? (=used when you are surprised or annoyed by how late at night or early in the morning something is)
daylight/daytime hours
The park is open during daylight hours.
the hours of darkness/daylight literary:
Few people dared to venture out during the hours of darkness.
unearthly/ungodly hour (=used when you are complaining about how early or late something is)
We had to get up at some ungodly hour to catch a plane.
at all hours/at any hour (of the day or night) (=at any time)
If you have a problem, you know you can call at any hour of the day or night.
She's up studying till all hours (=until unreasonably late at night).

➔ waking hours/life/day etc

at waking

long time

[usually plural] informal a long time or a time that seems long:
We had to spend hours filling in forms.
for hours (on end)
It'll keep the children amused for hours on end.
a really boring lecture that went on for hours and hours
She lay awake for hour after hour (=for many hours, continuously).


the time of the day when a new hour starts, for example one o'clock, two o'clock etc
strike/chime the hour (=if a clock strikes the hour, it rings, to show that it is one o'clock, seven o'clock etc)
(every hour) on the hour (=every hour at six o'clock, seven o'clock etc)
There are flights to Boston every hour on the hour.
10/20 etc minutes before/after the hour American English (=used on national radio or television in order to give the time without saying which hour it is, because the broadcast may be coming from a different time zone)
It's twelve minutes before the hour, and you're listening to Morning Edition on NPR.

1300/1530/1805 etc hours

used to give the time in official or military reports and orders:
The helicopters lifted off at 0600 hours.

by the hour/from hour to hour

if a situation is changing by the hour or from hour to hour, it is changing very quickly and very often:
This financial crisis is growing more serious by the hour.

lunch/dinner hour

the period in the middle of the day when people stop work for a meal:
I usually do the crossword in my lunch hour.

important time

[usually singular] an important moment or period in history or in your life
somebody's finest/greatest/darkest hour
This was our country's finest hour.
somebody's hour of need/glory etc (=a time when someone needs help, is very successful etc)

of the hour

important at a particular time, especially the present time:
one of the burning questions of the hour
the hero/man of the hour (=someone who does something very brave, is very successful etc at a particular time)

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