[ouuh r, ou-er] /aʊər, ˈaʊ ər/

a period of time equal to one twenty-fourth of a mean solar or civil day and equivalent to 60 minutes:
He slept for an hour.
any specific one of these 24 periods, usually reckoned in two series of 12, one series from midnight to noon and the second from noon to midnight, but sometimes reckoned in one series of 24, from midnight to midnight:
He slept for the hour between 2 and 3 a.m. The hour for the bombardment was between 1300 and 1400.
any specific time of day; the time indicated by a timepiece:
What is the hour?
a short or limited period of time:
He savored his hour of glory.
a particular or appointed time:
What was the hour of death? At what hour do you open?
a customary or usual time:
When is your dinner hour?
the present time:
the man of the hour.

distance normally covered in an hour’s traveling:
We live about an hour from the city.
Astronomy. a unit of measure of right ascension representing 15°, or the twenty-fourth part of a great circle.
a single period, as of class instruction or therapeutic consultation, usually lasting from 40 to 55 minutes.
Compare .
Education.. Also called credit hour. one unit of academic credit, usually representing attendance at one scheduled period of instruction per week throughout a semester, quarter, or term.
the Hours, Classical Mythology. the Horae.
of, relating to, or noting an hour.
one’s hour,

a period of time equal to 3600 seconds; 1/24th of a calendar day related adjectives horal horary
any of the points on the face of a timepiece that indicate intervals of 60 minutes
the hour, an exact number of complete hours: the bus leaves on the hour
the time of day as indicated by a watch, clock, etc
the period of time allowed for or used for something: the lunch hour, the hour of prayer
a special moment or period: our finest hour
the hour, the present time: the man of the hour
the distance covered in an hour: we live an hour from the city
(astronomy) an angular measurement of right ascension equal to 15° or a 24th part of the celestial equator
one’s hour

(Irish, informal) take one’s hour, to do something in a leisurely manner

mid-13c., from Old French hore “one-twelfth of a day” (sunrise to sunset), from Latin hora “hour, time, season,” from Greek hora “any limited time,” from PIE *yor-a-, from root *yer- “year, season” (see year). Greek hora was “a season; ‘the season;'” in classical times, sometimes, “a part of the day,” such as morning, evening, noon, night. The Greek astronomers apparently borrowed the notion of dividing the day into twelve parts (mentioned in Herodotus) from the Babylonians (night continued to be divided into four watches), but as the amount of daylight changed throughout the year, the hours were not fixed or of equal length. Equinoctal hours did not become established in Europe until the 4c., and as late as 16c. distinction sometimes was made between temporary (unequal) hours and sidereal (equal) ones. The h- has persisted in this word despite not being pronounced since Roman times. Replaced Old English tid, literally “time,” and stund “period of time.” As a measure of distance (“the distance that can be covered in an hour”) it is recorded from 1785.

Related Terms

dead hour

First found in Dan. 3:6; 4:19, 33;5:5. It is the rendering of the Chaldee shaah, meaning a “moment,” a “look.” It is used in the New Testament frequently to denote some determinate season (Matt. 8:13; Luke 12:39). With the ancient Hebrews the divisions of the day were “morning, evening, and noon-day” (Ps. 55:17, etc.). The Greeks, following the Babylonians, divided the day into twelve hours. The Jews, during the Captivity, learned also from the Babylonians this method of dividing time. When Judea became subject to the Romans, the Jews adopted the Roman mode of reckoning time. The night was divided into four watches (Luke 12:38; Matt. 14:25; 13:25). Frequent allusion is also made to hours (Matt. 25:13; 26:40, etc.). (See DAY.) An hour was the twelfth part of the day, reckoning from sunrise to sunset, and consequently it perpetually varied in length.



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    noun, Astronomy. 1. the angle, measured westward through 360°, between the celestial meridian of an observer and the hour circle of a celestial body. noun 1. the angular distance along the celestial equator from the meridian of the observer to the hour circle of a particular celestial body hour angle The angular distance, measured westward […]

  • Hour-circle

    noun, Astronomy. 1. a great circle on the celestial sphere passing through the celestial poles and containing a point on the celestial sphere, as a star or the vernal equinox. noun 1. a great circle on the celestial sphere passing through the celestial poles and a specified point, such as a star hour circle A […]

  • Hourglass

    [ouuh r-glas, -glahs, ou-er-] /ˈaʊərˌglæs, -ˌglɑs, ˈaʊ ər-/ noun 1. an instrument for measuring time, consisting of two bulbs of joined by a narrow passage through which a quantity of sand or mercury runs in just an . adjective 2. having a notably slim or narrow waist, midsection, or joining segment: She has an hourglass […]

  • Hourglass contraction

    hourglass contraction hour·glass contraction (our’glās’) n. Constriction of the middle portion of a hollow organ, such as the stomach or the uterus.

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