follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

small hours

plural noun
1.
hours after midnight; early morning hours:
We danced into the small hours.
Origin of small hours
1830-1840
1830-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for small hours
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus did that remarkable family spend the small hours of that morning, while their home was being burned to ashes.

    My Doggie and I R.M. Ballantyne
  • They will be only turning us out in the small hours, to go home and face insomnia.

    The Arrow of Gold Joseph Conrad
  • This is the story that Richard Temple told to his friend in the small hours of that night's morning.

    A Captain in the Ranks George Cary Eggleston
  • Who had come to that deserted wing of the inn in the small hours, and on what business?

    The Shrieking Pit Arthur J. Rees
  • It is likely that towards the small hours of the morning I now and again snatched a few minutes of sleep.

    My Danish Sweetheart, Volume 3 of 3 William Clark Russell
  • I was awakened in the small hours by the rattle of the winch.

  • Then the uncanny noises that make all old houses ghostly during the small hours began to make themselves heard.

British Dictionary definitions for small hours

small hours

plural noun
1.
the small hours, the early hours of the morning, after midnight and before dawn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with small hours

small hours

Also, wee hours. The hours following midnight, as in I stayed up working through the small hours, or The parents didn't come home until the wee hours. The adjectives small and wee both refer to the low numbers of those hours (one o'clock, two o'clock, etc.). [ c. 1830 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for small hours

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for small

7
10
Scrabble Words With Friends