: a time or office for daily liturgical devotion
especially : canonical hour
: the 24th part of a day : 60 minutes
: the time of day reckoned in two 12-hour periods
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
: a customary or particular time
lunch hour
in our hour of need
also : moment sense 1b
hero of the hour
hours plural : time of going to bed
keeps late hours
also : time of working
banker's hours
: an angular unit of right ascension equal to 15 degrees measured along the celestial equator
: the work done or distance traveled at normal rate in an hour
the city was two hours away
: a class session
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.
Recent Examples on the Web But a forecast for the hour of maximum eclipse, between 3 and 4 p.m. indicated that the sky would be almost half covered by cloud. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2024 Simmons showed up at lottery headquarters just hours after hitting the $992,574 Fast Play jackpot on a $20 Max Win ticket, according to a lottery news release. Joe Marusak, Charlotte Observer, 6 Apr. 2024 Suazo Sandoval is the third construction worker whose body has been recovered since the bridge collapsed in the early morning hours of March 26. Sarah Dewberry, CNN, 6 Apr. 2024 The Dali cargo ship struck the bridge in the early morning hours, where a construction crew was filling potholes on the structure. Louis Casiano, Fox News, 6 Apr. 2024 FlightAware data shows that the plane was in the air for two hours and 18 minutes, traveling only 842 miles of its 2,783-mile flight before heading back to Honolulu. Ingrid Vasquez, Peoplemag, 5 Apr. 2024 In the hours ahead, former President Donald Trump faces a deadline to secure a $464 million bond for the civil fraud judgment against him. Alexandra Banner, CNN, 25 Mar. 2024 The wee morning hours were blissfully tranquil, even though Joshua Tree saw a record-breaking number of visitors in 2023, with more than 3.2 million people passing through the gates. Maggie Downs, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2024 In the evening hours of Friday, March 22, Henderson police arrested the man on a charge of driving under the influence, KTNV said. Don Sweeney, Sacramento Bee, 25 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hour.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near hour

Cite this Entry

“Hour.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hour. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a time for or rite of religious worship
: one of the 24 divisions of a day : 60 minutes
: the time of day
the hour is now 10:00 a.m.
: a fixed or particular time
lunch hour
an hour of need
: the distance traveled in an hour
lives two hours away
: a class session
I have math this hour

More from Merriam-Webster on hour

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