hour - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable] a period of time that consists of 60 minutes. 30 minutes is usually called half an hour, 15 minutes can be called a quarter of an hour, and 45 minutes can be called three-quarters of an hour
    every hour:

    She checked on the children every hour.

    an hour ago:

    He left about an hour ago.

    an hour of something:

    After an hour of arguing, he agreed.

    an hour’s sleep/exercise/practice etc:

    Why don’t you get an hour’s sleep?

    for an hour:

    I’ve been waiting for over an hour.

    take an hour to do something:

    This dish takes about an hour to cook.

    it takes an hour to do something:

    It takes nearly an hour to get there by bus.

    in an hour/an hour’s time:

    I can be there in an hour.

    1. a.
      used when you are talking about how much time you need to get somewhere
      an hour along/past something:

      An hour along the beach road are some shops.

      an hour away (from something):

      Brighton is only an hour away from here.

  2. 2


    [plural] a long time

    I’m hungry and it’s hours until dinner.

    for hours (on end):

    I lay awake for hours thinking about John.

  3. 3


    [plural] the time during which you do something such as work or study

    My job is very flexible – I can fit my hours around my children.

    long hours:

    She’s putting in long hours at the library.

    school/working hours:

    courses that take place outside school hours

  4. 4
    [countable] a particular time in the day or night

    You can call me at any hour of the day or night.

    What are you doing out of bed at this hour (=so early or late)?

    the hours of daylight/darkness:

    They usually hunt during the hours of darkness.

    at all hours:

    You get cars coming down here at all hours.

  5. 5
    [singular] a particular point in history or in someone’s life or career
    someone’s/something’s finest hour:

    His finest hour came in 1982 when his film Gandhi won eight Oscars.

    someone’s/something’s darkest hour (=worst time):

    We have lived through our country’s darkest hour.

    in someone’s hour of need (=at a time when they really need help):

    No one had helped him in his hour of need.

  6. 6

    the hour

    the time that is exactly one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock etc
    on the hour:

    Trains for Edinburgh leave every hour on the hour.

    past the hour:

    The bus stops here at six minutes past the hour.