hour·​glass | \ ˈau̇(-ə)r-ˌglas How to pronounce hourglass (audio) \

Definition of hourglass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an instrument for measuring time consisting of a glass vessel having two compartments from the upper of which a quantity of usually sand runs in an hour into the lower one



Definition of hourglass (Entry 2 of 2)

: shaped like an hourglass an hourglass figure

Illustration of hourglass

Illustration of hourglass


In the meaning defined above

Examples of hourglass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Everywhere, coffee places that make that one drink, where coffee is slowly dripped through a device that looks like a hip hourglass, full of people with more tattoos than average. Frank Shyong Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 13 Aug. 2021 This full-size, hourglass-shaped brush lends your lashes major, va-va-voom action in just a few coats — and application is far less bothersome than that of falsies. Sarah Han, Allure, 6 Aug. 2021 My issue with all hourglass-like brushes is that the thicker end isn't able to pick up a few outermost lashes. Sarah Han, Allure, 3 Aug. 2021 Shoppers love the drawstring detail that cinches at the waist to create a flattering, hourglass appearance. Sanah Faroke, PEOPLE.com, 18 July 2021 This is a different take on the classic Falsies formula, featuring an hourglass-shaped brush and fresh bottle design. Melissa Epifano, PEOPLE.com, 12 July 2021 In these photos, Ciara shows off her hourglass silhouette in a spaghetti-strap jumpsuit with keyhole cuts at the hips. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 4 July 2021 The ruching also creates a flattering hourglass silhouette that’s complementary to all body types. Lex Goodman, Forbes, 22 June 2021 Like sands through the hourglass, long live the days of earth tones. Vogue, 25 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And yet, her body, designed by a man, had a waist equivalent to 18 inches on a real woman; an impossibly thin figure made even more so by her zaftig 39-inch bust and 33-inch hourglass hip measurement. Kate Branch, Vogue, 27 Apr. 2018 Her bright blouse and pants clung to her thick, hourglass figure. Aya De Leon, The Root, 22 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hourglass.' 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 hourglass


circa 1515, in the meaning defined above


circa 1834, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hourglass

Time Traveler

The first known use of hourglass was circa 1515

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Dictionary Entries Near hourglass

hour circle


hourglass screw

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Statistics for hourglass

Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hourglass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hourglass. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for hourglass



English Language Learners Definition of hourglass

: a device for measuring time


hour·​glass | \ ˈau̇r-ˌglas How to pronounce hourglass (audio) \

Kids Definition of hourglass

: a device for measuring time in which sand takes an hour to run from the upper into the lower part of a glass container

More from Merriam-Webster on hourglass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hourglass

Nglish: Translation of hourglass for Spanish Speakers


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