hour

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Middle English houre, oure, from Anglo-Norman houre, from Old French houre, (h)ore, from Latin hōra (hour), from Ancient Greek ὥρα (hṓra, any time or period, whether of the year, month, or day), from Proto-Indo-European *yer-, *yor- (year, season). Akin to Old English ġēar (year). Displaced native Middle English stunde, stound (hour, moment, stound) (from Old English stund (hour, time, moment)), Middle English ȝetid, tid (hour, time) (from Old English *ġetīd, compare Old Saxon getīd (hour, time).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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hour (plural hours)

  1. A time period of sixty minutes; one twenty-fourth of a day.
    I spent an hour at lunch.
    • 1661, John Fell, The Life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond
      During the whole time of his abode in the university he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant []
    • 1915, George A. Birmingham, Gossamer, Ch.I:
      It is never possible to settle down to the ordinary routine of life at sea until the screw begins to revolve. There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy.
    • 2014 June 21, “Magician’s brain”, The Economist, volume 411, number 8892: 
      [Isaac Newton] was obsessed with alchemy. He spent hours copying alchemical recipes and trying to replicate them in his laboratory. He believed that the Bible contained numerological codes. The truth is that Newton was very much a product of his time.
  2. A season, moment, time or stound.
    • Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849), Alone:
      From childhood's hour I have not been / As others were; I have not seen / As others saw; I could not bring / My passions from a common spring.
    • 1912, Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage, Chapter 3
      Now will be a good hour to show you Milly Erne's grave.
  3. (poetic) The time.
    The hour grows late and I must go home.
  4. (military, in the plural) Used after a two-digit hour and a two-digit minute to indicate time.
    • T. C. G. James and Sebastian Cox, The Battle of Britain:
      By 1300 hours the position was fairly clear.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Look at pages starting with hour.

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