/ ˈaʊə(r); NAmE / noun
HELP NOTE : Use an , not a , before hour .
[ C ] ( abbr. hr , hr. ) 60 minutes; one of the 24 parts that a day is divided into :
It will take about an hour to get there.
The interview lasted half an hour.
It was a three-hour exam.
I waited for an hour and then I left.
He'll be back in an hour .
We're paid by the hour .
The minimum wage was set at £3.20 an hour .
Top speed is 120 miles per hour .
York was within an hour's drive.
Chicago is two hours away (= it takes two hours to get there) .
We're four hours ahead of New York (= referring to the time difference) .
We hope to be there within the hour (= in less than an hour) .
[ C , usually sing. ] a period of about an hour, used for a particular purpose :
I use the Internet at work, during my lunch hour .
—see also happy hour , rush hour
hours [ pl. ] a fixed period of time during which people work, an office is open, etc. :
Opening hours are from 10 to 6 each day.
Most people in this kind of job tend to work long hours .
What are your office hours ?
a hospital's visiting hours
Britain's licensing hours (= when pubs are allowed to open) used to be very restricted.
This is the only place to get a drink after hours (= after the normal closing time for pubs) .
Clients can now contact us by email out of hours (= when the office is closed) .
[ sing. ] a particular point in time :
You can't turn him away at this hour of the night.
hours [ pl. ] a long time :
It took hours getting there.
I've been waiting for hours .
'How long did it last?' 'Oh, hours and hours .'
[ C , usually sing. ] the time when sth important happens :
This was often thought of as the country's finest hour .
She thought her last hour had come.
Don't desert me in my hour of need .
the hour [ sing. ] the time when it is exactly 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, etc. :
There's a bus every hour on the hour .
The clock struck the hour .
hours [ pl. ] used when giving the time according to the 24-hour clock, usually in military or other official language :
The first missile was launched at 2300 hours (= at 11 p.m.) .
HELP NOTE : This is pronounced '23 hundred hours'.
- all hours
- keep ... hours
- the small / early hours
—more at eleventh , evil , kill verb , unearthly , ungodly
Middle English : from Anglo-Norman French ure , via Latin from Greek hōra season, hour.