Definition of hour noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈaʊə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈaʊər//
    Use an, not a, before hour.
    jump to other results
  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 5[singular] a particular point in time You can't turn him away at this hour of the night.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Word OriginMiddle English: from Anglo-Norman French ure, via Latin from Greek hōra ‘season, hour’.Extra examples Bakers have to work unsocial hours. Britain’s licensing hours Buses leave every hour on the hour. Doctors often have to work out of hours. He keeps regular hours. He spends a lot of time in his office after hours. He’s been gone for over an hour. I apologize for calling you at this ungodly hour. I should be back within a couple of hours. I slept for eight solid hours. I spent my lunch hour shopping. It takes two hours to get to London. She grew more worried with every passing hour. She helped me in my hour of need. She spends every waking hour at the gym. She worked for three hours. She works very long hours. The clock struck the hour. The hour had come for us to leave. The office is closed between the hours of twelve and two. The party continued well into the early hours. The performance lasted three hours. The war years were often thought of as the country’s finest hour. There are still two hours of daylight left. They’re paid by the hour. Top speed is 120 miles per hour. We hope to be there within the hour. You gain five hours when you fly from New York to London. an hour of rest rush-hour traffic ten minutes past the hour the hospital’s visiting hours the hours of darkness the number of contact hours per week Don’t desert me in my hour of need. You can’t turn him away at this hour of the night.Idioms any time, especially a time which is not usual or suitable He's started staying out till all hours (= until very late at night). She thinks she can call me at all hours of the day and night. at the last possible moment; just in time (informal) very early, especially when this is annoying The job involved getting up at some unearthly hour to catch the first train. very early or very late and therefore annoying
    the evil hour/day/moment
    jump to other results
    (often humorous) the time when you have to do something difficult or unpleasant I’d better go and see the dentist—I can’t put off the evil hour any longer.
    if you keep regular, strange, etc. hours, the times at which you do things (especially getting up or going to bed) are regular, strange, etc.
    kill time, kill an hour, a couple of hours, etc.
    jump to other results
    to spend time doing something that is not important while you are waiting for something else to happen We killed time playing cards.
    the small/early hours (also especially Scottish English the wee small hours, especially North American English the wee hours)
    jump to other results
    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.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: hour