Meaning of HOUR in English

ˈau̇(ə)r, ˈau̇ə, especially in the South ˈau̇wə(r noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English our, hour, from Old French ore, ure, hore, hure, heure, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin hora canonical hour, from Latin, season of the year, time of day, part of the day, hour, from Greek hōra — more at year

1. hours plural

a. : the times of the day ecclesiastically set for prayer (as matins and vespers) — see canonical hour

b. : the prayers appointed for such times

book of hours


a. obsolete : the 12th part of the time between sunrise and sunset or between sunset and sunrise and hence of varying duration

b. : the 24th part of a mean solar day : 60 minutes of mean solar time


a. : the time of day expressed in hours and minutes as indicated by a timepiece

the hour is half past ten

what are you doing here at this hour

specifically : the number of full hours elapsed since noon or midnight

the clock has just struck the hour

b. : the time reckoned from midnight to midnight — used chiefly in the armed services

dinner would come about 1700 hours — Infantry Journal

a conference at 0900 hours


a. : a fixed, stated, or customary time or period of time

hours of business

during his leisure hours

cocktail hour

b. : a particular time

help in his hour of need

hottest hours of the day

c. hours plural : time of going to bed

late hours ruined his health

keep early hours out here in the country

5. : one twelfth of a natural day or of a natural night as determined by sunrise and sunset and assigned in astrology to the special influence of a planet — called also inequal hour, planetary hour


a. : 60 minutes of sidereal time

b. : an angular unit of right ascension equal to 15 degrees measured along the equinoctial

7. : a unit of measure of work equal to the normal amount done in an hour (as a token of presswork)

8. : a measure of distance estimated by the time normally taken to cover it

the city was two hours away


a. : a class session or period

hour tests, lasting fifty minutes each, are given several times during the semester

b. : credit hour , semester hour

three- hour course

- after hours

- on the hour

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.