\ ˈau̇(-ə)r \

Definition of hour 

1 : a time or office for daily liturgical devotion especially : canonical hour

2 : the 24th part of a day : 60 minutes

3a : the time of day reckoned in two 12-hour periods

b hours plural : the time reckoned in one 24-hour period from midnight to midnight using a 4-digit number of which the first two digits indicate the hour and the last two digits indicate the minute in the military 4:30 p.m. is called 1630 hours

4a : a customary or particular time lunch hour in our hour of need also : moment sense 1b hero of the hour

b hours plural : time of going to bed keeps late hours also : time of working banker's hours

5 : an angular unit of right ascension equal to 15 degrees measured along the celestial equator

6 : the work done or distance traveled at normal rate in an hour the city was two hours away

7a : a class session

b : credit hour, semester hour

after hours

: after the regular quitting or closing time

Examples of hour in a Sentence

She wasn't supposed to eat for six hours before the operation. You'll be paid by the hour for this job. The job pays ten dollars an hour. She exercises for a full hour every day. She was half an hour late. They arrived a few hours later. The project required long hours of work. The mood changed from hour to hour. These animals are most active in the hour just before sunrise. You can call me at any hour of the day or night.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Man of the hour: Every All-Star Game seems to focus on one individual, such as David Ortiz in 2016 in San Diego or Aaron Judge last year in Miami. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Clubhouse policeman Bud Norris creating latest controversy in St. Louis," 14 July 2018 The retired architect and her companions on Tauck's St. Petersburg and the Baltic Sea cruise already have explored the famed St. Petersburg attraction's outrageously ornate public rooms on a private after-hours tour. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Exclusive events, all-inclusive fares: Inside the Tauck formula for small-ship cruising," 13 July 2018 And in eastern Asia, Australia and parts of the western Pacific, the eclipse will be visible as the moon sets, in the early morning hours before sunrise on July 28. Denise Chow /, NBC News, "Total lunar eclipse will turn the moon blood red later this month," 13 July 2018 The showers and thunderstorms that reached Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the early-morning hours Wednesday will give way to a partly sunny day with cooler temperatures, forecasters said Wednesday morning. Jeremy C. Fox, BostonGlobe.com, "Showers and storms to be followed by cooler weather in Boston area," 11 July 2018 My dad spent most of his weekday hours working with people, managing the meat department of a grocery store. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "Learning to Be Funny," 9 July 2018 The rescue mission for the remaining boys and the coach will continue after a break of at least ten hours to replace air tanks and equipment. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Four Boys Have Been Rescued From Thailand Caves," 8 July 2018 Consumers were urged to reduce their electricity usage from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, the hours when high use is typical. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "More temperature records set as heat wave grips Southern California," 8 July 2018 Moderation and empathy are certainly the need of the hour. Naperville Sun, "Letters to the Editor: Time for moderate views to take center stage, too many anti-Trump opinions in paper, more," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hour.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hour

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hour

Middle English, from Anglo-French ure, eure, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin hora canonical hour, from Latin, hour of the day, from Greek hōra — more at year

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Learn More about hour

Dictionary Entries near hour






hour angle

hour circle

Statistics for hour

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hour

The first known use of hour was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for hour



English Language Learners Definition of hour

: one of the 24 equal parts of a day : 60 minutes

: the time shown on a clock or watch

: a particular time during the day


\ ˈau̇r \

Kids Definition of hour

1 : one of the 24 divisions of a day : 60 minutes

2 : the time of day The hour is now half past five.

3 : a fixed or particular time school hours He helped in our hour of need.

4 : the distance that can be traveled in an hour She lives three hours from here.

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Comments on hour

What made you want to look up hour? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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