\ ˈau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce hour (audio) \

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
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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Visitors also will get to learn about the company’s culture and philosophy, all in about 1.5 hours. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "Airbnb offers $24 tours of its company headquarters," 15 June 2019 The speeds that were reported (about 5,000 miles per hour, according to Mellon) were only sustainable for about an hour by an aircraft in the air, and these objects would be flying around all day long, the pilots said. Fox News, "Harry Reid wants hearings on what the military knows about UFOs: 'They would be surprised how the American public would accept it'," 15 June 2019 Venzor-Gonzalez evaded capture for three days but was arrested after a multi-hour standoff in Aurora. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Man sentenced to 32 years in prison for shooting at police officer," 14 June 2019 The first tour departs at 10 a.m. then every hour until 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 children ages 2-12. Houston Chronicle, "Get in touch with nature in Galveston," 14 June 2019 Several other area agencies offer diapers on a smaller scale, but many families have trouble accessing them due to lack of transportation and the limited hours the agencies are open. Brie Zeltner, cleveland.com, "Molina Healthcare ups its diaper commitment to city infant mortality prevention program," 14 June 2019 Barclays based its estimates on a part-time driver who averages $15,600 a year in ride-hail income ($20 an hour for 15 hours a week, 52 weeks a year). Alison Griswold, Quartz, "How much it would cost Uber and Lyft if drivers were employees," 14 June 2019 Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison has pledged to crack down on officers who continue to exceed the department’s limit of 32 overtime hours a week. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "With 'many' Baltimore police exceeding overtime limits, commissioner pledges crackdown," 13 June 2019 The first pitch was delayed 3 hours and 36 minutes by rain, and an occasional drizzle fell during the game. Mark Schmetzer, Cincinnati.com, "Top Cincinnati Reds games: No. 37 – Joey Votto's third homer a grand slam on May 13, 2012," 13 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hour

Dictionary Entries near hour






hour angle

hour circle

Statistics for hour

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hour

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce hour (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!