[ ouuhr, ou-er ]
See synonyms for hour on Thesaurus.com
  1. a period of time equal to one twenty-fourth of a mean solar or civil day and equivalent to 60 minutes: He slept for an hour.

  2. any specific one of 24 periods of 60 minutes, usually reckoned in two series of 12, one series from midnight to noon and the second from noon to midnight, but sometimes reckoned in one series of 24, from midnight to midnight: He slept for the hour between 2 and 3 a.m. The hour for the bombardment was between 1300 and 1400.

  1. any specific time of day; the time indicated by a timepiece: What is the hour?

  2. a short or limited period of time: He savored his hour of glory.

  3. a particular or appointed time: What was the hour of death? At what hour do you open?

  4. a customary or usual time: When is your dinner hour?

  5. the present time: The magazine had an interview with the man of the hour, star of the hottest new superhero movie.

  6. hours,

    • time spent in an office, factory, or the like, or for work, study, etc.: The doctor's hours were from 10 to 4. What employees do after hours is their own business.

    • customary time of going to bed and getting up: Actors often keep late hours.

    • (in the Christian church) the seven stated times of the day for prayer and devotion.

    • the offices or services prescribed for the seven stated times of the day for prayer and devotion.

    • a book containing the seven stated times of the day for prayer and devotion.

  7. distance normally covered in an hour's traveling: We live about an hour from the city.

  8. Astronomy. a unit of measure of right ascension representing 15°, or the twenty-fourth part of a great circle.

  9. a single period, as of class instruction or therapeutic consultation, usually lasting from 40 to 55 minutes.: Compare clock-hour.

  10. Education.Also called credit hour. one unit of academic credit, usually representing attendance at one scheduled period of instruction per week throughout a semester, quarter, or term.

  11. the Hours, Classical Mythology. the Horae.

  1. of, relating to, or noting an hour.

Idioms about hour

  1. one's hour,

    • Also one's last hour. the instant of death: The sick man knew that his hour had come.

    • any crucial moment.

Origin of hour

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English (h)oure from Anglo-French; Old French (h)ore, from Latin hōra, from Greek hṓrā “time, season”

Other words from hour

  • hourless, adjective

Words that may be confused with hour

Words Nearby hour

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hour in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hour


/ (aʊə) /

  1. a period of time equal to 3600 seconds; 1/24 th of a calendar day: Related adjectives: horal, horary

  2. any of the points on the face of a timepiece that indicate intervals of 60 minutes

  1. the hour an exact number of complete hours: the bus leaves on the hour

  2. the time of day as indicated by a watch, clock, etc

  3. the period of time allowed for or used for something: the lunch hour; the hour of prayer

  4. a special moment or period: our finest hour

  5. the hour the present time: the man of the hour

  6. the distance covered in an hour: we live an hour from the city

  7. astronomy an angular measurement of right ascension equal to 15° or a 24th part of the celestial equator

  8. one's hour

    • a time of success, fame, etc

    • Also: one's last hour the time of one's death: his hour had come

  9. take one's hour Irish informal to do something in a leisurely manner

Origin of hour

C13: from Old French hore, from Latin hōra, from Greek: season

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for hour


[ our ]

  1. A unit of time equal to one of the 24 equal parts of a day; 60 minutes.♦ A sidereal hour is 124 of a sidereal day, and a mean solar hour is 124 of a mean solar day. See more at sidereal time solar time.

  2. A unit of measure of longitude or right ascension, equal to 15° or 124 of a great circle.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with hour


see after hours; all hours; by the day (hour); eleventh hour; happy hour; keep late hours; on the hour; small hours.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.