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hour noun

1 period of sixty minutes

ADJ. solid I slept for eight solid hours.

VERB + HOUR take It takes two hours to get to London. | spend | last The performance lasted three hours. | gain, lose You gain five hours when you fly from New York to London.

HOUR + VERB go by, pass An hour passed and she still hadn't arrived.

PREP. by the ~ They're paid by the hour. | for an ~ She worked for three hours. | in/within an ~ I should be back within a couple of hours. | over/under an ~ He's been gone for over an hour. | per ~ Top speed is 120 miles per hour. | within the ~ We hope to be there within the hour (= in less than an hour). | ~ of There are still two hours of daylight left.

PHRASES half an hour, hour after hour, an hour's time, with every passing hour She grew more worried with every passing hour. > Note at MEASURE

2 the hour: time when a new hour starts

VERB + HOUR chime, strike The clock struck the hour.

PREP. on the ~ Buses leave every hour on the hour. | past the ~ ten minutes past the hour | to the ~ ten minutes to the hour

3 time when you do a particular activity

ADJ. lunch | peak, rush rush-hour traffic

VERB + HOUR spend I spent my lunch hour shopping.

PREP. ~ of an hour of rest

4 hours: time when sb is working/a shop is open

ADJ. office, opening, working | licensing, visiting Britain's licensing hours (= when pubs are allowed to open) the hospital's visiting hours | flexible | long | regular

VERB + HOUR work She works very long hours. | keep He keeps regular hours.

PREP. after ~ He spends a lot of time in his office after hours. | out of ~ Doctors often have to work out of hours.

5 time when sth happens

ADJ. darkest, finest This was often thought of as the country's finest hour. | antisocial, unearthly, ungodly, unsocial I apologize for phoning you at this ungodly hour.

HOUR + VERB come The hour had come for us to leave.

PREP. between the ~s of The office is closed between the hours of twelve and two. | ~ of the hours of darkness

PHRASES your hour of need She helped me in my hour of need.