Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Of or according to the clock: three o'clock.
  • adv. According to an imaginary clock dial with the observer at the center and 12 o'clock considered as straight ahead in horizontal position or straight up in vertical position. Used to indicate relative position: enemy planes at 10 o'clock.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. In conjunction with a numeral, indicates the time within a twelve hour period (midnight to noon or noon to midnight), specifically the time when the hour hand of a clock points precisely to the symbol or marking corresponding to the designated numeral.
  • adv. In conjunction with a term representing an action or event that occurs daily, indicates the time that said action or event occurs, or first occurs.
  • adv. In conjunction with a numeral, indicates the direction, relative to the speaker, corresponding to the direction the hour hand is pointing at the time corresponding to the numeral, with twelve representing directly ahead and three being to the right.
  • adv. Used to indicate direction on a plane, often vertical with 12 o'clock being straight up, representing a projection of the speaker’s field of vision.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See clock.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. according to the clock

Etymologies

Short for of the clock.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Shortened form of “of the clock” or “on the clock”; that is, “according to the clock”. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • 'It must be -- eight o'clock' -- said the gasping voice -- '_eight o'clock_;' and the tone became a whisper, as though the idea thus half involuntarily revealed had been drawn jealously back into the strongholds of consciousness.

    Robert Elsmere

  • 'It must be -- eight o'clock,' said the gasping voice -- '_eight o'clock_;' and the tone became a whisper, as though the idea thus half involuntarily revealed had been drawn jealously back into the strongholds of consciousness.

    Robert Elsmere

  • II. ii.324 (244,8) [Eleven o'clock] Ford should rather have said _ten o'clock_: the time was between ten and eleven; and his impatient suspicion was not likely to stay beyond the time.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • Hence it became necessary to distinguish one from the other _by name_, and thus the notation from midnight gave rise, as I have remarked in one of my papers on Chaucer, to the English idiomatic phrase "of the clock;" or the reckoning of the clock, commencing at midnight, as distinguished from Roman equinoctial hours, commencing at six o'clock A.M. This was what Ben Jonson was meaning by attainment of majority at _six o'clock_, and not, as PROFESSOR DE M.RGAN supposes, "probably a certain sunrise."

    Notes and Queries, Number 214, December 3, 1853 A Medium of Inter-communication for Literary Men, Artists, Antiquaries, Genealogists, etc.

  • "At 15: 04 my flight was attacked by three MiGs, two from the '10 o'clock' and one from the ´6 o'clock´.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • It's 2 o'clock in the morning and I am in a club full of people who seem to be dancing in rapture.

    Tijana Milosevic: Self-Expression Through House Dance Culture

  • My typical weekend might involve a wander down the more interesting aisles in the supermarket, heading home to cook something novel, going out to meet up with friends at pub o'clock, and later, perhaps catching a film that does not involve moralising fish, lions or wizards.

    I was dad for a day

  • It turns out they've grown five o'clock stubble, bought everything in Aubin and Wills and are now are now making Radio 2 electro-flop.

    This week's new singles

  • I'd eat a meal at about 11 o'clock and one about 8 o'clock here.

    Back to the Future

  • It's not yet 9 o'clock, and she's been cleaning up since dawn in her sundress, which is the color of shamrocks, and her big silver jewelry.

    Nancy Ruhling: Astoria Characters: The Cheers Leader

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