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hour



hour S1 W1 /aʊə $ aʊr/ noun [COUNTABLE]
[date : 1100-1200; Language : Old French; Origin : heure, from Latin hora, from Greek]
1. 60 MINUTES (written abbreviation hr) a unit for measuring time. There are 60 minutes in one hour, and 24 hours in one day:
  ▪ The interview will last about two hours.
  ▪ I study for an hour every night.
  ▪ I’ll be back in three hours.
  ▪ Three hours later he was back.
  ▪ Her bag was stolen within hours of her arrival.
  ▪ You weren’t interested in my story a half hour ago.
  ▪ It takes about a quarter of an hour to walk into town.
hour of
  ▪ After four hours of talks, an agreement was reached.
  ▪ The hotel is only an hour’s drive from the airport.
  ▪ a top speed of 120 miles an hour
  ▪ This was freelance work, paid by the hour.
  ▪ a five-hour delay

2. BUSINESS/WORK ETC hours [PLURAL]a fixed period of time in the day when a particular activity, business etc happens:
  ▪ hours of business 9.00–5.00
office/opening hours
  ▪ Please call during office hours.
working hours/hours of work
  ▪ the advantages of flexible working hours
visiting hours (=the time when you can visit someone in hospital)
after hours (=after the time when a business, especially a bar, is supposed to close)

3. long/regular/late etc hours
used to say how long someone works or does things every day, or when they work or do things:
  ▪ the long hours worked by hospital doctors
  ▪ Many hospital staff have to work unsocial hours (=work in the evenings so that they cannot spend time with family or friends).
  ▪ She knew that he kept late hours (=stayed up late).
work all the hours God sends (=work all the time that you can)

4. TIME OF DAY a particular period or point of time during the day or night
in the early/small hours (of the morning) (=between around midnight and two or three o'clock in the morning)
  ▪ There was a knock on the door in the early hours of the morning.
  ▪ Who can be calling at this late hour? (=used when you are surprised or annoyed by how late at night or early in the morning something is)
daylight/daytime hours
  ▪ The park is open during daylight hours.
the hours of darkness/daylight literary:
  ▪ Few people dared to venture out during the hours of darkness.
unearthly/ungodly hour (=used when you are complaining about how early or late something is)
  ▪ We had to get up at some ungodly hour to catch a plane.
at all hours/at any hour (of the day or night) (=at any time)
  ▪ If you have a problem, you know you can call at any hour of the day or night.
  ▪ She’s up studying till all hours (=until unreasonably late at night).waking hours/life/day etc at waking

5. LONG TIME [USUALLY PLURAL] informal a long time or a time that seems long:
  ▪ We had to spend hours filling in forms.
for hours (on end)
  ▪ It’ll keep the children amused for hours on end.
  ▪ a really boring lecture that went on for hours and hours
  ▪ She lay awake for hour after hour (=for many hours, continuously).

6. O'CLOCK the time of the day when a new hour starts, for example one o'clock, two o'clock etc
strike/chime the hour (=if a clock strikes the hour, it rings, to show that it is one o'clock, seven o'clock etc)
(every hour) on the hour (=every hour at six o'clock, seven o'clock etc)
  ▪ There are flights to Boston every hour on the hour.
10/20 etc minutes before/after the hour American English (=used on national radio or television in order to give the time without saying which hour it is, because the broadcast may be coming from a different time zone)
  ▪ It’s twelve minutes before the hour, and you’re listening to Morning Edition on NPR.

7. 1300/1530/1805 etc hours
used to give the time in official or military reports and orders:
  ▪ The helicopters lifted off at 0600 hours.

8. by the hour/from hour to hour
if a situation is changing by the hour or from hour to hour, it is changing very quickly and very often:
  ▪ This financial crisis is growing more serious by the hour.

9. lunch/dinner hour
the period in the middle of the day when people stop work for a meal:
  ▪ I usually do the crossword in my lunch hour.

10. IMPORTANT TIME [USUALLY SINGULAR]an important moment or period in history or in your life
sb’s finest/greatest/darkest hour
  ▪ This was our country’s finest hour.
sb’s hour of need/glory etc (=a time when someone needs help, is very successful etc)

11. of the hour
important at a particular time, especially the present time:
  ▪ one of the burning questions of the hour
the hero/man of the hour (=someone who does something very brave, is very successful etc at a particular time)
the eleventh hour at eleventh1(2), ⇨ hourly, happy hour, rush hour, zero hour
• • •
COLLOCATIONS
phrases
half an hour (also a half hour) (=thirty minutes)
  ▪ I’ll meet you in half an hour.
(a) quarter of an hour (=fifteen minutes)
  ▪ Mum was gone for about a quarter of an hour.
three quarters of an hour (=forty-five minutes)
  ▪ The journey takes three quarters of an hour.
miles/kilometres an hour (=used in speeds)
  ▪ The speed limit is 65 miles an hour.
£10/$7 etc an hour (=used to say how much someone is paid or how much you pay to use something)
  ▪ The babysitter charges £5 an hour.
an hour’s/six hours' etc work (=work that it took you an hour/six hours etc to do)
  ▪ I did two hours’ work before breakfast.
an hour’s walk/drive etc
  ▪ It’s about an hour’s drive away.
adverbs
an hour/three hours etc later
  ▪ An hour later she arrived home.
an hour/three hours etc earlier/before
  ▪ I had just seen him a few hours earlier.
an hour/three hours etc ago
  ▪ He left an hour ago.
verbs
take an hour (=something needs an hour to do)
  ▪ It took about three hours to paint the whole room.
spend an hour
  ▪ I spent an hour reading.
last (for) an hour
  ▪ The meeting lasted almost two hours.
pay/charge by the hour (=pay or charge someone according to the number of hours it takes to do something)
  ▪ You can pay by the hour to hire a boat.

noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
24 hours a day (=during the whole day and night)
In Cairo, the streets are busy 24 hours a day.
30 mile/360 kilometre/2 hour etc round trip
A coachload of supporters made the 700-mile round trip to South Devon.
5 minutes/an hour/20 years etc ago
Her husband died 14 years ago.
a 12-hour/16-hour etc shift
We used to work eight-hour shifts.
a 12-hour/16-hour etc shift
We used to work eight-hour shifts.
a 24-hour/2-day etc bug
The doctor says it’s just a 24-hour bug.
a half hour/mile etc
You can’t just waltz in a half hour late.
It’s about a half mile down the road.
a half day excursion to the island
He demanded a half share of the money.
a quarter of an hour
I’ll meet you in a quarter of an hour.
an hour’s/a two hour etc drive
It’s a two hour drive from Calais to Thiepval.
antisocial hours
I got fed up with the low pay and antisocial hours.
at an ungodly hour (=very early in the morning or very late at night)
Why did you wake me up at such an ungodly hour?
be paid by the hour/day/week
I was working on a building site, being paid by the hour.
business hours
cost sth per minute/hour/year etc
Calls cost only 2p per minute.
daylight hours
The park is open to the public during daylight hours.
earn £30,000 a year/$200 a week/£5 an hour etc
Newly qualified teachers earn a minimum of £24,000 a year.
five hours/two weeks etc solid
On Saturday I went to bed and slept fourteen hours solid.
five minutes/an hour etc fast
I always keep my watch 15 minutes fast.
five minutes/two hours etc away
The beach is only five minutes away it only takes five minutes to get there.
flexible working hours
Many mothers prefer flexible working hours.
half a mile/pound/hour etc
half a pound of butter
It’s about half a mile down the road.
She drank half a bottle of wine.
half a million dollars
happy hour
hour hand
in the small hours of the morning (=very early, before dawn)
I was woken up in the small hours of the morning by a strange sound.
inside the hour/month etc (=before an hour, month etc has passed)
We’ll be back inside the hour.
irregular hours
Funeral directors often work long, irregular hours.
kilowatt hour
last an hour/ten minutes etc
Each lesson lasts an hour.
The ceasefire didn’t last long.
lose time/2 days/3 hours etc
Vital minutes were lost because the ambulance took half an hour to arrive.
In 1978, 29 million days were lost in industrial action.
lunch hour
I did the shopping during my lunch hour.
miles per hour
He was driving at 70 miles per hour.
miles/kilometres per hour (=used for measuring speed)
a speed limit of 40 miles per hour
opening hours
rush hour
I got caught in the morning rush hour.
seconds/moments/minutes/hours
We knew we only had a few more precious hours together.
seemed like hours
We waited for what seemed like hours.
spare sb ten minutes/an hour etc
Could you possibly spare me a few moments in private used to ask someone if they have time to quickly talk to you?
strike the hour (=strike when it is exactly one o'clock, two o'clock etc)
ten minutes/two hours etc late
The bus came ten minutes late.
ten minutes/two hours etc late
You’re half an hour late.
the evening rush hour (=the busy time in the evening when a lot of people are travelling home from work)
There's always congestion on the motorways during the evening rush hour.
the hours of darkness (=the night)
Desert animals come out during the hours of darkness when its cool.
the lunch hour (=the time when people stop working to eat lunch)
I try to go out for a walk during my lunch hour.
three quarters of an hour (=45 minutes)
She arrived three quarters of an hour late.
two hours/three days etc long
The speech was twenty minutes long.
visiting hours
wait two hours/ten minutes etc
William waited an hour for his sister to arrive.
witching hour
work long hours (=work for more time than is usual)
Doctors often work long hours.
zero hour
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
ADJECTIVE
early
In the early hours of the morning, at about three, Stephen jerked awake from a nightmare.
The outside bar provides drinks and snacks until the early hours of the morning.
All that idleness; eating too much; drinking too much; going to bed in the early hours of the morning.
The party continued well into the early hours and was heralded as a great success by all.
Some time in the early hours they had reached Madeira.
Most days, I worked into the early hours, leaving little time to spend with Joan.
happy
Accompanied by our daughter, I spent many happy hours helping there.
On Friday, happy hour starts at 3 p. m. and continues until closing.
Peter O'Toole's happiest hour as the Soho scribe looking back on a mis-spent life.
During happy hour, extended on Monday until the end of the game, microbrews are $ 2.
The cover of this machine provided many happy hours for me when tiny.
The happy hour food menu includes hot wings, chicken quesadillas, onion rings and crab cakes, among others.
All in all, it promises to be a huge weekend with a happy hour and disco etal.
Open 5 p.m.-2 a.m. every day except Monday. Happy hour from 5-8 p.m.
long
Just long hours and low pay.
The chorus sang plaintively of their long hours in the shop, and short nights in the attics above.
Through the long slow hours of darkness he saw her lovely face and forgot that she did not love him.
The long hours of the night stretched ahead of her and the prospect opened a well of loneliness within her.
Amelie put in long hours, rising at five every morning and falling exhausted into bed well after midnight.
During the decline of hand-loom weaving, more and more families were brought under the necessity of working longer hours.
We spent long hours in stationary trains in railway-sidings, in grey towns under greyer skies.
rush
Like traffic caught in rush hour, freeway construction moves glacially -- especially when well-organized locals try to spike it.
Service is frequent, with trains running every 7 { minutes during rush hour and once every 30 minutes on Sundays.
And already, the rush hour queues have begun to shrink.
That concentration, greater than on a highway during rush hour, would not cause even a headache in most healthy people.
By moving the start and finish times away from the traditional hours, the workforce could avoid rush hour travel.
In rush hour, forget it.
The Paris-Brussels trains will run every 30 minutes during rush hour.
It was raining, getting dark, and it was rush hour besides.
small
For who among us is too world-weary to be awake and watching until the small hours of Friday morning?
David D. is always well briefed, usually good-humoured, though he was looking a little frayed by the small hours of Friday.
Lying awake in the small hours, after falling asleep quickly, can become another maddening habit.
It will be particularly useful for early risers who once had to endure deafening music from Benidorm bars until the small hours.
Nutty lay awake in the small hours, worrying herself stupid.
Clearly he saw nothing odd about business meetings in the small hours.
In fact my whole being was permeated by the leaden-armed pervading weakness one feels when forced to work in the small hours.
But he'd had that last night - or rather, in the small hours of the morning.
working
Concurrently juniors' working hours are being reduced.
Are there arrangements for surgeries or clinics out of working hours?
Similarly farmers are more prepared to be indulgent about their employees' working hours as long as the necessary tasks are carried out efficiently.
Hundreds of thousands of working hours lost.
More could be done to encourage flexible or staggered working hours and spread the traffic load.
Employers could also help themselves and many of their staff by banning lunchtime drinking and all consumption of alcohol during working hours.
The issue - over working hours and job security - remains unresolved.
One teamleader would occasionally keep his dealers behind after normal working hours.
NOUN
half
Mr Evans closed the shop for an extra half hour and brought out a bottle of sherry.
The passenger wagons were not going into town for another half hour, so I hired a carriage and went in myself.
She had been waiting in his office with growing impatience for a full half hour.
A half hour at the latest.
Robbie Fowler and, for the last half hour, Michael Owen, barely mustered a shot between them.
I kept checking the bathroom mirror every half hour or so, certain my face was swelling on one side.
It was a contented half hour.
Already the first stars were out; in a half hour the darkness would be solid.
lunch
It may be no more than a little park near work or a church that you stop by during lunch hour.
During her lunch hour she shopped, deliberately avoiding the part of town in which Giles's office was situated.
He had roamed Queenstown during his lunch hour at the beginning of the week before he could find a roaster for sale.
The shop was closed for the lunch hour.
He was back in the Home Office by the lunch hour.
He runs five or six miles in Central Park during his lunch hour and showers at the gym.
office
If you want to help contact during office hours.
Compiling such a list was a labour of love - too pleasurable an activity to pursue in office hours.
However although many employers grant day release facilities, most of your preparation for the examinations will take place outside office hours.
This would involve staying behind after office hours to empty some bins and hoover around a bit.
Training on word processing is useful to edit precedents, alter work outside office hours and to type confidential memos.
During office hours the main door of Moorlake House was always left on the latch.
She wanted to touch him, but continued to observe the rules that kept them apart during office hours.
Just ring: This facility is available during office hours Monday to Friday.
VERB
last
Helpers approaching have sometimes been bitten or attacked wildly in the delirium that follows and which may last as long as twelve tormented hours.
Rush hour lasts half an hour, and bicycles remain a realistic form of transportation.
The row lasted half an hour, then the last protesters left the auditorium, noisily banging doors behind them.
Bombings sometimes lasted an hour or more.
Over 100 interviews were carried out, lasting some 170 hours in all, as well as several shorter, informal conversations.
Then, the evening emergence lasts half an hour.
The visit lasted over an hour during which time Neil Kinnock experienced at first hand what carpet manufacturing was all about.
There was the heaviest raid so far, lasting four hours.
spend
She spends hours looking after her nails.
Miles began to gleefully spend an hour each afternoon sitting among his books.
Together with his wife Lilian, the Group quality circle facilitator spends hours of his spare time counting cross-stitching.
They spent an hour in my closet, cutting tiny swatches from the seams.
Helen got away for one day and they spent nine hours together in the open air.
We spend half an hour at Crown Bookstore.
So maybe they only spend ten hours, instead of three hundred hours spent by the Red Arrows.
I spend a half hour at a hologram store.
take
It starts with a potent aperitif called Mulsum which takes twenty four hours to mature.
Once it had taken ten hours to turn a particular cannon projectile; now it took an hour and a half.
It seemed to Elizabeth that it took people half an hour to greet each other each day.
Both geometric correction and image registration involve lengthy and time-consuming operations, taking several hours on a minicomputer.
Lessons took up only two hours a day and the farm work was badly organised.
It takes about one hour for the alcohol from a drink to reach its peak concentration in the blood.
They take eighteen hours all told, including the overnight soaking.
A journey from London to Kendal can take less than 4.5 hours.
wait
From Buffalo, the party drove three miles to Black Rock on the Niagara where they waited an hour for a ferryman.
He waited an hour, quite immobile.
Huge crowds were waiting an hour in the cold before the service was scheduled to begin.
I had some experience of this when I lived at home, having to wait hours for the district nurses.
Lives might have been saved if he had not waited about two hours before reporting the crash in April last year.
After hostage negotiators heard the gunshot over the phone, police waited about a half hour before entering the home.
work
Women fare little better, working an average 40.1 hours here, compared to the Euro average of 38.9 hours.
Shaffer works 12-hour days, six days a week.
He worked all hours, day and night, and in all weathers.
In the last few weeks he had been working sixteen-and twenty-hour days.
For workers in small firms employment guarantees are very rare, working hours are longer and safety records poor.
When you work long hours with people, bonds are inevitably formed.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a civilized hour
Can't we have the meeting at a more civilized hour?
a matter of seconds/weeks/hours etc
Already we read that within a matter of weeks the number of the believers was 120.
At least 30 rounds went off in a matter of seconds.
But these days, the time between orders and shipments has shrunk to a matter of weeks.
Hay says that Sarin would normally degrade in an open environment in a matter of hours.
It seemed to the rector that it all happened within a matter of seconds.
Many other soy sauces are chemically produced in a matter of hours.
More to the point, he prevailed on Amelia to write the text in a matter of weeks.
The new cabinet and other ministerial appointments are announced within a matter of days, sometimes within a matter of hours.
a year/a week/a moment/an hour etc or two
be counting (down) the minutes/hours/days
call it £10/two hours etc
in your hour of need
He helped others in their hour of need.
Besides, how could he abandon his father now, in his hour of need?
Is there anyone, anyone at all, to whom he might go in his hour of need?
Right-wing columnists are refusing to rally to Mr Major in his hour of need.
kill time/an hour etc
office hours
Call me back tomorrow during office hours.
Professor Lee's office hours are from 2 to 4 on Mondays and Thursdays.
A thousand and one domestic crises can intrude on your office hours if your office is in your home.
Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Compiling such a list was a labour of love - too pleasurable an activity to pursue in office hours.
During my office hours that day, I lay my head in the crook of my elbow and close my eyes.
However although many employers grant day release facilities, most of your preparation for the examinations will take place outside office hours.
I, too, went to take a bath or ran errands during office hours, as did my colleagues.
If you want to help contact during office hours.
This would involve staying behind after office hours to empty some bins and hoover around a bit.
per hour/day/week etc
A group of mums working on a one day per week rota can look after the arrangements for this.
Action potentials zip down axons at about 225 miles per hour.
At room temperature, atoms normally fly around at speeds of hundreds or thousands of miles per hour.
Make a conscious effort to drink less tea and coffee - about one or two cups per day.
Pony treks from the East Farm are priced at £8 per hour, 7 days a week.
Prices vary enormously for group holidays but a typical price would be somewhere in the region of £25 per person per day.
Singe bikes cost $ 3. 50 per hour, tandems $ 5 per hour.
These couples averaged 2.44 copulations per week.
sb's finest hour
spare time/moment/hour etc
Darby was a cheerfully relaxed young man who compiled cryptic crosswords for a monthly magazine in his spare time.
In her spare time she makes and decorates cakes of different shapes and sizes for all occasions.
In his spare time, Grigsby gave legal advice to the Black Panthers.
In many schools, teachers are spending their spare time fund-raising and making equipment to support the new Curriculum.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
Q: When you have spare time, what do you do?
We had some spare time, so we started messing around with samples and sequencers and stuff.
the early hours
Order was restored in the prison in the early hours of June 25th.
The club didn't close till the early hours.
They reached San Francisco in the early hours of the morning.
He died in the early hours of this morning.
House fire: Firefighters were called to a house blaze in Sedgefield in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Return will be on Sunday, 2 May, late evening or in the early hours of Monday morning.
Tension mounted in the early hours of yesterday morning when a shot was heard in the area of the siege house.
The ideal time at which to make an arrest is in the early hours of the morning.
The tail-end of a conversation in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
the eleventh hour
Alas, this knowledge comes at a time when it is virtually the eleventh hour for the tiger.
And, suddenly, just as had happened to Michael Banks, at the eleventh hour the rhythm started to come.
At the eleventh hour, Halifax has stepped into the breach.
At the eleventh hour, he underestimated the Stealers - as if they had only been his playthings.
At the eleventh hour, the Government decided something had to be done, and fast.
It has come at the eleventh hour.
The Billabong had been saved at the eleventh hour.
There wouldn't be any later, unless somehow, at the eleventh hour, I freed Karen from her sterile remorse.
the evil hour/day etc
Putting off the evil hour, she suspected.
the man of the moment/hour/year
Back in 1831 the man of the moment was one Squire George Osbaldeston.
Except for one player, the man of the moment in the Kingdome.
Miltiades was the man of the hour, and his advice was to strike at once and win back the Cyclades.
Sean Bean's the man of the moment.
That's what makes Bush the man of the hour, for these are indisputably good times.
You ought to be the man of the hour.
the small hours
We danced until the small hours.
A month ago he went into Edinburgh for a night out and in the small hours was stabbed to death.
But private investors reacted quickly by buying equities in the small hours of yesterday morning.
By night the bar is transformed into a disco, playing night-club sounds' til the small hours.
Finally it was Trondur in the small hours of the morning who succeeded.
In fact my whole being was permeated by the leaden-armed pervading weakness one feels when forced to work in the small hours.
Nutty lay awake in the small hours, worrying herself stupid.
The uneasy silence of the small hours fell over the hospital.
the wee (small) hours
The recording session extended into the wee hours.
An ideal adventure for beginners, this one should have you plugging away till the wee small hours of the morning.
For safety, a night light comes on at the top of the stairs when some one emerges in the wee hours.
Soul musicians are, by nature, nocturnal, so many of his interviews would take place in the wee hours.
Their video-age medicine shows run on dozens of cable and broadcast outlets in the wee hours.
We got to Sabinal in the wee hours before dawn.
Where else can such a thought be debated ad nauseam into the wee hours of a boring Tuesday?
the witching hour
twenty-four hour clock
unearthly hour/time etc
waking hours/life/day etc
Every second of his waking hours, he was watched.
He inhales desert lore and data all his waking hours.
Indeed we sometimes spend a lot of our waking hours making sure that everything is as secure as we can make it.
Real will is an attribute of consciousness, not of the sleep in which most people pass their waking lives.
She still wanted to look as she did in waking life, but there were improvements she could make.
Some people wrestle with their problems until the very last minutes of their waking hours.
The documentation that he signed said, observe this resident one on one during waking hours.
We were young and our waking hours were given to games.
while away the hours/evening/days etc
Let's while away the hours swapping stories.
work unsocial hours
working hours/day/week
Apparently, too, Rosie enjoyed herself after working hours.
At the end of the working day most of us retreat to families and/or partners and play other parts.
Items must be posted at post office counters in advance of latest recommended posting times for next working day delivery.
Remember, your spouse may not be used to having you home during working hours.
The whole operation was based on 50 journeys or rounds, one for each vehicle on every working day of the week.
These, as we now know, involve everything from environmental considerations to limits on the working hours of employees.
They had only three working days in which to prepare the defence against the new charge.
They took long lunches and went to barbershops, beauty parlors, bathhouses, and tearooms during working hours.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
I hate telemarketers who call during the dinner hour
Sir, I'm sorry to bother you at this hour.
There's something happening on our street at all hours of the day and night.
We had to get up at some ungodly hour to catch our train.
We serve meals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
A pea-sized projectile is hurtled into a target at speeds of up to sixteen thousand miles an hour.
After we had sat talking for half an hour he asked permission to be excused.
For the hour before getting ready she was reminded in ways she would be able to understand in terms of time.
I anticipate that his direct examination will require at least an hour.
It seemed to Elizabeth that it took people half an hour to greet each other each day.
Normally the others would remain for another hour or so.
The busiest time and peak hours of the reception office will depend on the type of hotel.
This gives you the cost of an hour of your labor.

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