hourhour /aʊə $ aʊr/ ●●●S1W1 noun [countable]160 minutes (written abbreviation hr)TMC a unit for measuring time. There are 60 minutes in one hour, and 24 hours in one dayThe 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 ofAfter 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 hourThis was freelance work, paid by the hour.a five-hour delay2 →hours3 →long/regular/late etc hours4time of dayPERIOD OF TIME a particular period or point of time during the day or nightin 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 hoursThe park is open during daylight hours.the hours of darkness/daylight literaryFew 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 etcat waking5long time [usually plural] informalLONG TIME a long time or a time that seems longWe 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 hoursShe lay awake for hour after hour (=for many hours, continuously).6o’clockTIME/WHAT TIME IS IT the time of the day when a new hour starts, for example one o’clock, two o’clock etcstrike/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.7 →1300/1530/1805 etc hours8 →by the hour/from hour to hour9 →lunch/dinner hour10important timePERIOD OF TIME [usually singular] an important moment or period in history or in your lifesomebody’s finest/greatest/darkest hourThis was our country’s finest hour.somebody’s hour of need/glory etc (=a time when someone needs help, is very successful etc)11 →of the hour → the eleventh hourat eleventh1(2), → hourly, happy hour, rush hour, zero hourCOLLOCATIONSphraseshalf an hour (also a half hour) (=thirty minutes)I’ll meet you in half an hour.(a) quarter of an hour (=fifteen minutes)Mum was gone for about a quarter of an hour.three quarters of an hour (=forty-five minutes)The journey takes three quarters of an hour.miles/kilometres an hour (=used in speeds)The speed limit is 65 miles an hour.£10/$7 etc an hour (=used to say how much someone is paid or how much you pay to use something)The babysitter charges £5 an hour.an hour’s/six hours’ etc work (=work that it took you an hour/six hours etc to do)I did two hours’ work before breakfast.an hour’s walk/drive etcIt’s about an hour’s drive away.adverbsan hour/three hours etc laterAn hour later she arrived home.an hour/three hours etc earlier/beforeI had just seen him a few hours earlier.an hour/three hours etc agoHe left an hour ago.verbstake an hour (=something needs an hour to do)It took about three hours to paint the whole room.spend an hourI spent an hour reading.last (for) an hourThe meeting lasted almost two hours.pay/charge by the hour (=pay or charge someone according to the number of hours it takes to do something)You can pay by the hour to hire a boat.