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small hours

plural noun
hours after midnight; early morning hours:
We danced into the small hours.
Origin of small hours
1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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
  • I was awakened in the small hours by the rattle of the winch.

  • 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
  • Especially is it so at midnight and towards the small hours of the morning.

    Reminiscences of Queensland William Henry Corfield
  • 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
  • This decision was arrived at in the small hours of the 22nd of May.

    John Nicholson R. E. Cholmeley
  • 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
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
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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.
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