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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
Historical Examples
  • In the small-hours of to-night we leave this wonderful place.

    Letters to Helen Keith Henderson
  • You must have enjoyed it better than you expected, for more than one of the ‘small-hours’ had struck before you came home.

    Janet's Love and Service Margaret M Robertson
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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