From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Chronology
hourhour /aʊə $ aʊr/ ●●● S1 W1 noun [countable] 1 60 minutes (written abbreviation hr)TMC a unit for measuring time. There are 60 minutes in one hour, and 24 hours in one day The interview will last about two hours. I study for an hour every night. I’ll be back in three hours. Three hours later he was back. Her bag was stolen within hours of her arrival. You weren’t interested in my story a half hour ago. It takes about a quarter of an hour to walk into town.hour of After four hours of talks, an agreement was reached. The hotel is only an hour’s drive from the airport. a top speed of 120 miles an hour This was freelance work, paid by the hour. a five-hour delay2 hours3 long/regular/late etc hours4 time of dayPERIOD OF TIME a particular period or point of time during the day or nightin the early/small hours (of the morning) (=between around midnight and two or three o’clock in the morning) There was a knock on the door in the early hours of the morning. Who can be calling at this late hour? (=used when you are surprised or annoyed by how late at night or early in the morning something is)daylight/daytime hours The park is open during daylight hours.the hours of darkness/daylight literary Few people dared to venture out during the hours of darkness.unearthly/ungodly hour (=used when you are complaining about how early or late something is) We had to get up at some ungodly hour to catch a plane.at all hours/at any hour (of the day or night) (=at any time) If you have a problem, you know you can call at any hour of the day or night. She’s up studying till all hours (=until unreasonably late at night). waking hours/life/day etc at waking5 long time [usually plural] informalLONG TIME a long time or a time that seems long We had to spend hours filling in forms.for hours (on end) It’ll keep the children amused for hours on end. a really boring lecture that went on for hours and hours She lay awake for hour after hour (=for many hours, continuously).6 o’clockTIME/WHAT TIME IS IT the time of the day when a new hour starts, for example one oclock, two o’clock etcstrike/chime the hour (=if a clock strikes the hour, it rings, to show that it is one o’clock, seven o’clock etc)(every hour) on the hour (=every hour at six o’clock, seven o’clock etc) There are flights to Boston every hour on the hour.10/20 etc minutes before/after the hour American English (=used on national radio or television in order to give the time without saying which hour it is, because the broadcast may be coming from a different time zone) It’s twelve minutes before the hour, and you’re listening to ‘Morning Edition’ on NPR.7 1300/1530/1805 etc hours8 by the hour/from hour to hour9 lunch/dinner hour10 important timePERIOD OF TIME [usually singular] an important moment or period in history or in your lifesomebody’s finest/greatest/darkest hour This was our country’s finest hour.somebody’s hour of need/glory etc (=a time when someone needs help, is very successful etc)11 of the hour the eleventh hour at eleventh1(2), → hourly, happy hour, rush hour, zero hourCOLLOCATIONSphraseshalf an hour (also a half hour) (=thirty minutes)I’ll meet you in half an hour.(a) quarter of an hour (=fifteen minutes)Mum was gone for about a quarter of an hour.three quarters of an hour (=forty-five minutes)The journey takes three quarters of an hour.miles/kilometres an hour (=used in speeds)The speed limit is 65 miles an hour.£10/$7 etc an hour (=used to say how much someone is paid or how much you pay to use something)The babysitter charges £5 an hour.an hour’s/six hours’ etc work (=work that it took you an hour/six hours etc to do)I did two hours’ work before breakfast.an hour’s walk/drive etcIt’s about an hour’s drive away.adverbsan hour/three hours etc laterAn hour later she arrived home.an hour/three hours etc earlier/beforeI had just seen him a few hours earlier.an hour/three hours etc agoHe left an hour ago.verbstake an hour (=something needs an hour to do)It took about three hours to paint the whole room.spend an hourI spent an hour reading.last (for) an hourThe meeting lasted almost two hours.pay/charge by the hour (=pay or charge someone according to the number of hours it takes to do something)You can pay by the hour to hire a boat.
Examples from the Corpus
hourWe serve meals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.There's something happening on our street at all hours of the day and night.After we had sat talking for half an hour he asked permission to be excused.It seemed to Elizabeth that it took people half an hour to greet each other each day.I anticipate that his direct examination will require at least an hour.A pea-sized projectile is hurtled into a target at speeds of up to sixteen thousand miles an hour.This gives you the cost of an hour of your labor.Normally the others would remain for another hour or so.I hate telemarketers who call during the dinner hourThe busiest time and peak hours of the reception office will depend on the type of hotel.For the hour before getting ready she was reminded in ways she would be able to understand in terms of time.Sir, I'm sorry to bother you at this hour.We had to get up at some ungodly hour to catch our train.for an hourTypically the fisherman is a lone black smudge hunched on his bait-box for hours at a time.We flew for an hour and in that time I completed a reel of film in my camera.Been wanting to get them off for hours.She played the piano for an hour every Thursday at a Northeast Austin retirement home.He hiked along the road for an hour.I stood for an hour and a half before working my way up to a seat at the bar.In the morning he would get up early, lift weights for an hour, and drive to work.in the early/small hours (of the morning)She was found in the small hours, more than half-way up, scrabbling at a window as if for air.A policewoman discovered the blaze which occurred in the early hours of yesterday.Return will be on Sunday, 2 May, late evening or in the early hours of Monday morning.House fire: Firefighters were called to a house blaze in Sedgefield in the early hours of Saturday morning.Some time in the early hours they had reached Madeira.Finally it was Trondur in the small hours of the morning who succeeded.If you plan to stay up on election night, you could sustain yourself in the small hours with freshly baked pizza.for hours (on end)We lay awake for hours, each immersed in his or her own thoughts.He then dressed in her clothes and paraded around the campus for hours until he was arrested.It seems it is for hours, but neither of us are fighters.It's gone now, but at the time mentally handicapped patients were locked up in it for hours at a time.Thus a query and its settlement could easily drag on for hours.She ranted and raved for hours.We sat for hours, scowling with concentration, cross-stitching cute little scenes and heartfelt sayings on squares of linen.It was unclear for hours after the crash how many people had died.strike/chime the hourThe bells in a far steeple began chiming the hour.It has no dial or hands but strikes the hours.Dennis arrived just before the clock chimed the hour.We stand with them for the last gloomy minutes till the clock strikes the hour.Then he lay trembling on his stone bed and listened to the clock striking the hours.The great bells of the Immaculate Conception chimed the hour.He heard the library clock faintly chiming the hour over towards the Butts Estate and sighed a deep and heartfelt sigh.somebody’s hour of need/glory etcBesides, how could he abandon his father now, in his hour of need?But at least there was liquid refreshment on hand in Ted's hour of need.Is there anyone, anyone at all, to whom he might go in his hour of need?It might also be that Chesnais needed an hour of glory quickly.Right-wing columnists are refusing to rally to Mr Major in his hour of need.
Origin hour (1100-1200) Old French heure, from Latin hora, from Greek