- 1 [countable] (abbreviation hr, hr.) 60 minutes; one of the 24 parts that a day is divided into It will take about an hour to get there. The interview lasted half an hour. It was a three-hour exam. I waited for an hour and then I left. He'll be back in an hour. We're paid by the hour. The rate of pay is £8.50 an hour. Top speed is 120 miles per hour. York was within an hour's drive. Chicago is two hours away (= it takes two hours to get there). We're four hours ahead of New York (= referring to the time difference). We hope to be there within the hour (= in less than an hour).
- 2 [countable, usually singular] a period of about an hour, used for a particular purpose I use the Internet at work, during my lunch hour. see also happy hour, rush hour
- 3 hours [plural] a fixed period of time during which people work, an office is open, etc. Opening hours are from 10 to 6 each day. Most people in this kind of job tend to work long hours. What are your office hours? a hospital’s visiting hours Britain's licensing hours (= when pubs are allowed to open) used to be very restricted. This is the only place to get a drink after hours (= after the normal closing time for pubs). Clients can now contact us by email out of hours (= when the office is closed). see also zero-hours
- 4 hours [plural] a long time It took hours getting there. I've been waiting for hours. ‘How long did it last?’ ‘Oh, hours and hours.’
- 5[singular] a particular point in time You can't turn him away at this hour of the night.
- 6[countable, usually singular] the time when something important happens This was often thought of as the country's finest hour. She thought her last hour had come. Don't desert me in my hour of need.
- 7the hour [singular] the time when it is exactly 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, etc. There's a bus every hour on the hour. The clock struck the hour.
- 8hours [plural] used when giving the time according to the 24-hour clock, usually in military or other official language The first missile was launched at 2300 hours (= at 11 p.m.). This is pronounced ‘23 hundred hours’. More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet. Word Origin Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French ure, via Latin from Greek hōra
the period of time very early in the morning, soon after midnight We worked well into the small hours. The fighting began in the early hours of Saturday morning.