prime time

noun Radio and Television.
the hours, generally between 8 and 11 p.m., usually having the largest audience of the day.

Origin:
1955–60

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
prime time
 
n
1.  the peak viewing time on television, for which advertising rates are the highest
 
adj
2.  occurring during or designed for prime time: a primetime drama

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Slang Dictionary

prime time

n. [from TV programming] Normal high-usage hours on a system or network. Back in the days of big timesharing machines `prime time' was when lots of people were competing for limited cycles, usually the day shift. Avoidance of prime time was traditionally given as a major reason for night mode hacking. The term fell into disuse during the early PC era, but has been revived to refer to times of day or evening at which the Internet tends to be heavily loaded, making Web access slow. The hackish tendency to late-night hacking runs has changed not a bit.
FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

prime time definition


(From TV programming) Normal high-usage hours on a time-sharing system; the day shift. Avoidance of prime time was traditionally given as a major reason for night mode hacking. The rise of the personal workstation has rendered this term, along with time-sharing itself, almost obsolete. The hackish tendency to late-night hacking runs has changed not a bit.
[Jargon File]
(1995-01-18)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
The major television networks now devote an hour of early prime time to this sort of drivel.
Summer is the prime time to make this drive, though spring and fall can also be pleasant.
The non-windows systems aren't ready for prime time in incident management either.
Find out what's worth watching, or what may not be, in prime time.
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