Learner's definition of HOUR
1 [count] : one of the 24 equal parts of a day : 60 minutes
She wasn't supposed to eat for six hours before the operation.
You'll be paid by the hour for/on this job.
The job pays ten dollars an hour.
We've been waiting (for) an hour.
She exercises for a full/good/solid hour every day.
He practiced the piano for hours at a time. = He spent hours practicing the piano.
She was half an hour late.
They arrived a few hours later.
A project like that can take hours (to finish).
The project required long/endless hours of work.
He spent all his waking hours [=all of the hours in the day that he was awake] working on the project.
(Brit) She has been working all the hours God sends. [=she has been working very long hours]
He's counting the hours until his retirement. [=he is waiting eagerly for his retirement]
We talked for hours and hours. = We talked for hours on end. = We talked for many hours.
She grew more nervous with each passing hour. [=as each hour passed]
The mood changed from hour to hour.
2 a : the time shown on a clock or watch
b : a particular time during the day
The hour [=time] is half past ten. [=10:30]
We arrived just as the clock struck the hour. [=we arrived at exactly 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, etc.]
(US) The program is scheduled to start at the top of the hour. [=at the beginning of the hour; at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, etc.]
The next train will leave on the hour. [=at the beginning of the next hour]
Trains leave the station every hour on the hour. [=at the beginning of each hour; at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, etc.]
Trains leave the station every hour at ten minutes before the hour. [=trains leave at 12:50 (10 minutes to one), 1:50 (ten minutes to two), etc.]
Trains leave every hour at ten minutes past the hour. = (chiefly US) Trains leave every hour at ten minutes after the hour. [=trains leave at 1:10, 2:10, etc.]
a late hour
What are you doing here at this hour? [=why are you here at such a late hour?]
at the midnight hour [=at midnight]
These animals are most active in the hour just before sunrise.
You can call me at any hour of the day or night.
People began arriving in the early hours of the morning.
The park is open during daylight hours.
We arrived at the appointed hour. [=we arrived at the time that had been agreed upon]
They serve breakfast at all hours. = They serve breakfast at any hour. [=at any time of day]
These animals are active at all hours of the day. [=throughout the day]
They were up till/until all hours. [=they were up very late]
The store is open twenty-four hours a day. [=the store is open all day and night]
◊ The wee/small/early hours are the very early hours of the morning.
3 a [count] : the time of a specified activity b [count] : a particular time or period of time
◊ The man/woman (etc.) of the hour is a person who is being honored or praised or who is enjoying success at a particular time.
Someone's or something's darkest hour is a time of great trouble or danger.
c hours [plural] : a time scheduled or used for a particular purpose or activity
Someone's or something's finest hour is a time of great success, courage, or heroism.
School hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
She works regular/normal hours. [=she works a regular schedule; she works during the day on Monday through Friday]
She has been working longer hours. [=she has been working for more hours than usual each day]
Visiting hours on this hospital ward are between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Personal phone calls are not allowed during business/office hours.
He enjoys reading and relaxing in his off hours. [=the time when he is not working]
We keep early hours out here in the country. [=we go to bed early]
She has been keeping late hours at the office. [=she has been working late]
4 [count] : the distance that can be traveled in an hour
She lives two hours away.
Her house is two hours north of here.
Her house is two hours' drive from here. = Her house is a two-hour drive from here.
5 hours [plural] — used to refer to time when time is being measured on a 24-hour clock
after hoursor Britishout of hours
: after the regular hours of work or operation
— used in measurements that describe the speed of something