on the hour

Idioms & Phrases

on the hour

At every hour exactly; one o'clock, two o'clock, and so on. For example, The shuttle to New York departs on the hour. An extension of this idiom is every hour on the hour, meaning every time the clock's big hand reaches twelve, as in The bus passes by the house every hour on the hour.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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