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hour

[ouuh r, ou-er] /aʊər, ˈaʊ ər/
noun
1.
a period of time equal to one twenty-fourth of a mean solar or civil day and equivalent to 60 minutes:
He slept for an hour.
2.
any specific one of these 24 periods, usually reckoned in two series of 12, one series from midnight to noon and the second from noon to midnight, but sometimes reckoned in one series of 24, from midnight to midnight:
He slept for the hour between 2 and 3 a.m. The hour for the bombardment was between 1300 and 1400.
3.
any specific time of day; the time indicated by a timepiece:
What is the hour?
4.
a short or limited period of time:
He savored his hour of glory.
5.
a particular or appointed time:
What was the hour of death? At what hour do you open?
6.
a customary or usual time:
When is your dinner hour?
7.
the present time:
the man of the hour.
8.
hours.
  1. time spent in an office, factory, or the like, or for work, study, etc.:
    The doctor's hours were from 10 to 4. What an employee does after hours is his or her own business.
  2. customary time of going to bed and getting up:
    to keep late hours.
  3. (in the Christian church) the seven stated times of the day for prayer and devotion.
  4. the offices or services prescribed for these times.
  5. a book containing them.
9.
distance normally covered in an hour's traveling:
We live about an hour from the city.
10.
Astronomy. a unit of measure of right ascension representing 15°, or the twenty-fourth part of a great circle.
11.
a single period, as of class instruction or therapeutic consultation, usually lasting from 40 to 55 minutes.
Compare clock-hour.
12.
Education. Also called credit hour. one unit of academic credit, usually representing attendance at one scheduled period of instruction per week throughout a semester, quarter, or term.
13.
the Hours, Classical Mythology. the Horae.
adjective
14.
of, pertaining to, or noting an hour.
Idioms
15.
one's hour,
  1. Also, one's last hour. the instant of death:
    The sick man knew that his hour had come.
  2. any crucial moment.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English (h)oure < Anglo-French; Old French (h)ore < Latin hōra < Greek hṓrā time, season
Related forms
hourless, adjective
Can be confused
are, hour, our.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hour
  • At any hour of the day or night, someone somewhere is at the gym.
  • Give them a finals week, but leave us two and four hour people alone.
  • Others talk of leaving their car with the battery fully charged, only to return an hour or two later to find it flat.
  • Cleanly divided by the horizon line, this frame was shot half an hour after sunset.
  • Hikes can range from less than an hour to a few days, depending on your skill level.
  • Such blimps can keep surveillance and ordnance-guiding equipment aloft for a few hundred dollars an hour.
  • More than an hour after sunset a veil of glowing clouds appears low in the northern sky.
  • In less than an hour you can turn ripe peaches and raspberries into this quick, small-batch jam.
  • It simply moves the array a set amount once per hour.
  • Last month they averted a government shutdown with barely an hour to spare.
British Dictionary definitions for hour

hour

/aʊə/
noun
1.
a period of time equal to 3600 seconds; 1/24th of a calendar day related adjectives horal horary
2.
any of the points on the face of a timepiece that indicate intervals of 60 minutes
3.
the hour, an exact number of complete hours: the bus leaves on the hour
4.
the time of day as indicated by a watch, clock, etc
5.
the period of time allowed for or used for something: the lunch hour, the hour of prayer
6.
a special moment or period: our finest hour
7.
the hour, the present time: the man of the hour
8.
the distance covered in an hour: we live an hour from the city
9.
(astronomy) an angular measurement of right ascension equal to 15° or a 24th part of the celestial equator
10.
one's hour
  1. a time of success, fame, etc
  2. Also one's last hour. the time of one's death: his hour had come
11.
(Irish, informal) take one's hour, to do something in a leisurely manner
See also hours
Word Origin
C13: from Old French hore, from Latin hōra, from Greek: season
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
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Word Origin and History for hour
n.

mid-13c., from Old French hore "one-twelfth of a day" (sunrise to sunset), from Latin hora "hour, time, season," from Greek hora "any limited time," from PIE *yor-a-, from root *yer- "year, season" (see year). Greek hora was "a season; 'the season;'" in classical times, sometimes, "a part of the day," such as morning, evening, noon, night. The Greek astronomers apparently borrowed the notion of dividing the day into twelve parts (mentioned in Herodotus) from the Babylonians (night continued to be divided into four watches), but as the amount of daylight changed throughout the year, the hours were not fixed or of equal length. Equinoctal hours did not become established in Europe until the 4c., and as late as 16c. distinction sometimes was made between temporary (unequal) hours and sidereal (equal) ones. The h- has persisted in this word despite not being pronounced since Roman times. Replaced Old English tid, literally "time," and stund "period of time." As a measure of distance ("the distance that can be covered in an hour") it is recorded from 1785.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hour in Science
hour
  (our)   
  1. A unit of time equal to one of the 24 equal parts of a day; 60 minutes. ◇ A sidereal hour is 1/24 of a sidereal day, and a mean solar hour is 1/24 of a mean solar day. See more at sidereal time, solar time.

  2. A unit of measure of longitude or right ascension, equal to 15° or 1/24 of a great circle.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for hour

hour

Related Terms

dead hour


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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hour in the Bible

First found in Dan. 3:6; 4:19, 33;5:5. It is the rendering of the Chaldee shaah, meaning a "moment," a "look." It is used in the New Testament frequently to denote some determinate season (Matt. 8:13; Luke 12:39). With the ancient Hebrews the divisions of the day were "morning, evening, and noon-day" (Ps. 55:17, etc.). The Greeks, following the Babylonians, divided the day into twelve hours. The Jews, during the Captivity, learned also from the Babylonians this method of dividing time. When Judea became subject to the Romans, the Jews adopted the Roman mode of reckoning time. The night was divided into four watches (Luke 12:38; Matt. 14:25; 13:25). Frequent allusion is also made to hours (Matt. 25:13; 26:40, etc.). (See DAY.) An hour was the twelfth part of the day, reckoning from sunrise to sunset, and consequently it perpetually varied in length.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with hour
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for hour

in timekeeping, 3,600 seconds, now defined in terms of radiation emitted from atoms of the element cesium under specified conditions. The hour was formerly defined as the 24th part of a mean solar day-i.e., of the average period of rotation of the Earth relative to the Sun. The hour of sidereal time, 124 of the Earth's rotation period relative to the stars, was about 10 seconds shorter than the hour of mean solar time.

Learn more about hour with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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