The small hours
Hour Hour, n. [OE. hour, our, hore, ure, OF. hore, ore, ure, F. heure, L. hora, fr. Gr. ?, orig., a definite space of time, fixed by natural laws; hence, a season, the time of the day, an hour. See {Year}, and cf. {Horologe}, {Horoscope}.] 1. The twenty-fourth part of a day; sixty minutes. [1913 Webster]

2. The time of the day, as expressed in hours and minutes, and indicated by a timepiece; as, what is the hour? At what hour shall we meet? [1913 Webster]

3. Fixed or appointed time; conjuncture; a particular time or occasion; as, the hour of greatest peril; the man for the hour. [1913 Webster]

Woman, . . . mine hour is not yet come. --John ii. 4. [1913 Webster]

This is your hour, and the power of darkness. --Luke xxii. 53. [1913 Webster]

4. pl. (R. C. Ch.) Certain prayers to be repeated at stated times of the day, as matins and vespers. [1913 Webster]

5. A measure of distance traveled. [1913 Webster]

Vilvoorden, three hours from Brussels. --J. P. Peters. [1913 Webster]

{After hours}, after the time appointed for one's regular labor.

{Canonical hours}. See under {Canonical}.

{Hour angle} (Astron.), the angle between the hour circle passing through a given body, and the meridian of a place.

{Hour circle}. (Astron.) (a) Any circle of the sphere passing through the two poles of the equator; esp., one of the circles drawn on an artificial globe through the poles, and dividing the equator into spaces of 15[deg], or one hour, each. (b) A circle upon an equatorial telescope lying parallel to the plane of the earth's equator, and graduated in hours and subdivisions of hours of right ascension. (c) A small brass circle attached to the north pole of an artificial globe, and divided into twenty-four parts or hours. It is used to mark differences of time in working problems on the globe.

{Hour hand}, the hand or index which shows the hour on a timepiece.

{Hour line}. (a) (Astron.) A line indicating the hour. (b) (Dialing) A line on which the shadow falls at a given hour; the intersection of an hour circle which the face of the dial.

{Hour plate}, the plate of a timepiece on which the hours are marked; the dial. --Locke.

{Sidereal hour}, the twenty-fourth part of a sidereal day.

{Solar hour}, the twenty-fourth part of a solar day.

{The small hours}, the early hours of the morning, as one o'clock, two o'clock, etc.

{To keep good hours}, to be regular in going to bed early. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • (the) small hours — the early hours of the morning. I was up till the small hours of Wednesday morning finishing off that report. (often + of) She was born in the small hours of Saturday morning …   New idioms dictionary

  • the small hours — the early hours of the morning after midnight. → small hours …   English new terms dictionary

  • the small hours — UK / US noun [plural] the time when it is very early in the morning, soon after midnight …   English dictionary

  • small hours —    The term the small hours means after midnight or the very early hours of the day.     Sarah worked until the small hours on her speech for the ceremony …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • small hours — ► PLURAL NOUN (the small hours) ▪ the early hours of the morning after midnight …   English terms dictionary

  • small hours — hours after midnight; early morning hours: We danced into the small hours. [1830 40] * * * …   Universalium

  • small hours — noun (plural) the small hours the early morning hours, between about one and four o clock: We stayed up talking into the small hours …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • small hours — N PLURAL: usu in the N, oft N of n If something happens in the small hours, it happens soon after midnight, in the very early morning. They were arrested in the small hours of Saturday morning …   English dictionary

  • small\ hours — n. phr. the very early hours of the morning between 1 and 4 A.M. My brother was in trouble for coming home in the small hours. See: wee hours …   Словарь американских идиом

  • small hours — plural noun (the small hours) the early hours of the morning after midnight …   English new terms dictionary

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