\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

Shares in Papa John’s fell 0.2% on Friday to close at $53.55 a share and were unchanged in after-hours trading. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Papa John’s Scraps Founder John Schnatter From Branding," 13 July 2018 Broadcom’s shares fell by 6.7% in after-hours trading; CA’s popped by 15.3%. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Trump and NATO, Papa John's Out, Broadcom Buys CA: CEO Daily for July 12, 2018," 12 July 2018 That’s down from 2016, when 32 employees earned $254,856 in after-hours pay. Rachel Alexander, The Seattle Times, "Spokane police chief against posting full internal investigations, body-camera video online," 9 July 2018 At Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party — an after-hours, extra ticket event — kicks off on Nov. 8, The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays starts Nov. 18. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney World holiday plans include Toy Story Land, 'Up' show," 9 July 2018 On Sunday, after at least eight hours since a team of divers started rescue efforts, at least four boys have emerged from the cave, as reported by multiple news outlets. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, "First Boys Rescued From Thailand Cave as Rest of Youth Soccer Team Awaits Safety," 8 July 2018 Covering opeerations can continue a half-hour past that time, under the agreement. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Franklin extends landfill hours to accommodate John's Disposal after fire at Racine County plant," 6 July 2018 The stands were filled with college baseball scouts, all waiting to see Luke Leto, the 14-year-old with the long flowing hair and the 90 mile-per-hour fastball. Detroit Free Press, "Meet Luke Leto, Michigan's best baseball prospect since Derek Jeter," 24 June 2018 The fixed-wing aircraft would carry 20 tourists on a journey that would provide 10 minutes of weightlessness during a half-hour flight. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Chinese tourism, launch by centrifuge, SLS the “right” rocket," 22 June 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

8 Oct 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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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