American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Ecclesiastical The times of day at which canon law prescribes certain prayers to be said. These times are matins with lauds, prime, tierce, sext, nones, vespers, and complin.
- n. Ecclesiastical The prayers said at these times.
- n. plural The times of day at which canon law prescribes certain prayers to be said; matins with lauds, prime, tierce, sext, nones, vespers, and complin
- n. The prayers said at these times
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. certain stated times of the day, fixed by ecclesiastical laws, and appropriated to the offices of prayer and devotion; also, certain portions of the Breviary, to be used at stated hours of the day. In England, this name is also given to the hours from 8 a. m. to 3 p. m. (formerly 8 a. m. to 12 m.) before and after which marriage can not be legally performed in any parish church.
- n. See under Canonical.
“All laboured with their hands, all abstained from flesh-meat, all embraced regular poverty; the Divine Office was recited at the canonical hours with great solemnity, silence was observed for many hours, and there were regular times for private prayer and meditation.”
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