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[uh-klok] /əˈklɒk/
of, by, or according to the clock (used in specifying the hour of the day):
It is now 4 o'clock.
according to a method for indicating relative position whereby a plane in space is considered to be numbered as a clock's face, with 12 o'clock considered as directly ahead in horizontal position or straight up in vertical position.
Origin of o'clock
1710-20; see o', clock1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for o'clock
  • My partner is an early riser, usually stands up at five o'clock in the morning.
  • At the three o'clock shift change, when the afternoon crew would have arrived during the shuttles' working days, no one comes.
  • Jumped on the train and was back home by nine o'clock.
  • There are spiky projections in the picture of the inner core on opposite ends at about one and seven o'clock.
  • The six-o'clock news can be not only delivered when you want it, but it also can be edited for you and randomly accessed by you.
  • At eight o'clock he comes down, and the tower stays empty until the next morning.
  • Base-load power is the minimum required to keep things ticking over-the demands of three o'clock in the morning, or thereabouts.
  • The party was still going at three o'clock in the morning.
  • The parties start gathering about ten o'clock, and after the midnight service every place is crowded to capacity.
  • Between four and five o'clock transport is significant: trains, cars, and airplanes.
British Dictionary definitions for o'clock


used after a number from one to twelve to indicate the hour of the day or night
used after a number to indicate direction or position relative to the observer, twelve o'clock being directly ahead or overhead and other positions being obtained by comparisons with a clock face
Word Origin
C18: abbreviation for of the clock
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 o'clock

c.1720, abbreviation of of the clock (1640s), from Middle English of the clokke (late 14c.). Use of clock hand positions to describe vector directions or angles is from late 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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