\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

Out of any day of the week, American bikers averaged the fastest speed—13.67 miles per hour—on Tuesdays, and runners averaged the fastest pace—9 minutes and 34 seconds per mile—that day as well. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The 2 Things That Will Help Motivate You to Be More Active, According to a New Strava Report," 28 Nov. 2018 The plane dived into the sea at more than 500 miles per hour. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Lion Air pilots struggled against Boeing’s 737 MAX flight-control system, black-box data shows," 27 Nov. 2018 Recently, Fasciano and Ryder got 3-D printed molds of their lunch pail shape and shipped them to Rwanda, which increased the weavers’ efficiency by 200 percent—and since each woman is paid per basket, not per hour, that’s more money in her pocket. Emily Farra, Vogue, "The Duo Behind Cesta Collective Is Building a “Next-Gen Sustainable Brand” in Africa," 16 Nov. 2018 Seasonal Santa Ana winds with gusts up to 60 miles per hour have rapidly spread the flames. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Deadly wildfires are still threatening Northern and Southern California," 12 Nov. 2018 The industry’s average wage just topped $30 per hour last month, and can continue to increase as workers gain skills. Amanda Abrams, Curbed, "Women are the solution to the construction industry’s labor shortage," 5 Nov. 2018 The Helios 2 set the heliocentric speed record at 153,454 miles per hour. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Probe Gets Closer to Sun Than Any Human-Made Object in History," 30 Oct. 2018 This gets expensive, at $100 per investigator per hour, plus expenses like car rentals and hotel rooms. Howie Kahn, Town & Country, "How to Do Top-Notch Surveillance and Dark Web Deep Dives," 17 Sep. 2018 Disneyland reached a similar deal in July with its workers to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by January 2019. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Disney World Will Have a $15 Minimum Wage by 2021 — A Big Win, Especially for Young People," 30 Aug. 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

3 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on hour

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hour

Spanish Central: Translation of hour

Nglish: Translation of hour for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hour for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hour

Comments on hour

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to make faulty or ineffective

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