Meaning of “hour” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"hour" in British English

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hournoun

uk /aʊər/ us /aʊr/

A1 [ C ] a period of 60 minutes:

The exam lasted an hour and a half.
There are 24 hours in a day.
How many hours' sleep do you need?
I'll be back in an hour's/two hours' time (= after one/two hours).
My hometown is an hour from Houston/an hour away (= it takes an hour to travel there).
He gets paid by the hour (= gets a particular amount of money for each hour he works).
Trains leave every hour on the hour (= at exactly one o'clock, two o'clock, etc.).
Buses leave at ten minutes past/to the hour (= at ten past/to one o'clock, two o'clock, etc.).
formal War was declared at eighteen hundred hours/18.00 hours (= at six o'clock in the evening).

[ C usually plural ] the period of time when a particular activity happens or when a shop or public building is open:

I try to spend my lunch hour walking.
office / /working hours
Our opening hours are from 8.00 to 6.00.

C2 [ C ] a particular time during the day or night:

Who could be calling us at this unearthly/ungodly hour (= so late at night)?
He returned in the early/small hours (= at night, after midnight).
work long, regular, unsocial, etc. hours

used to describe how many hours in the day you work or what part of the day you work:

She's a nurse so she often works unsocial hours.
He's paid well but he works long hours.
for hours (and hours) B1 informal

for a very long time:

I waited for him for hours.
at all hours (of the day and night) C1 disapproving

repeatedly during the day and the night:

They keep calling me at all hours (of the day and night).

More examples

  • She walks the dog for an hour every afternoon.
  • The trip from York to Newcastle takes about an hour by train.
  • We had to queue for three hours to get in.
  • All the new toys kept the kids occupied for hours.
  • As a teacher you could expect to be paid anywhere between £7 and £15 per hour.

(Definition of “hour” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"hour" in American English

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hournoun [ C ]

us /ɑʊər/ abbreviation hr.

a period of 60 minutes:

Take this an hour after eating.
It’s open 24 hours a day.
He works long hours (= starts work early and finishes late).
He gets paid by the hour (= for each hour worked).
Buses pull out every hour on the hour (= at the time an hour begins).

An hour can be a period of time, not necessarily 60 minutes, when you do something:

a lunch hour

An hour can be the distance you can travel in 60 minutes:

San Francisco is only a couple of hours away.

(Definition of “hour” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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