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

  • The early hours after midnight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The very early morning, just after midnight, when most people are asleep.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. See under Hour.

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

  • n. the hours just after midnight


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The two youngsters sat on thi floor, three feet apart, holding pink, plastic instruments t in the small hours of the morning, the tumult ceased, there was stunned silence in the small room.

    The Cat Who Came To Breakfast

  • Through the small hours Dr. Stokell and his Royal Society chums poked and slashed at the body until their curiosity was sated.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • The first time was an attack on the four of them, as they emerged, flush and rolling in winnings, from Florinda's Place in the small hours of a rainy morning.


  • He was elected Secretary of the Union, a post automatically carrying an eventual presidency of one of the most famous nongovernmental debating societies in the world; he was sought out by Leonard Woolf and Lytton Strachey (whose lover he became), and the nucleus of what was to be known as the Bloomsbury group came into being; he climbed mountains (Strachey complained at the “multitudes of imbecile mountains”) ; bought books; stayed up in the small hours arguing; shone.

    The Worldly Philosophers

  • In the small hours of the night, when the life sinks to its frailest, he would end or mend.

    The Confession of Brother Haluin

  • The chief pleasure of these philosophers lay in going every Saturday night, when work was done, to Chaseborough, a decayed market-town two or three miles distant; and, returning in the small hours of the next morning, to spend Sunday in sleeping off the dyspeptic effects of the curious compounds sold to them as beer by the monopolizers of the once independent inns.

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

  • So it was that in the small hours a gorracharra rider with a game leg and a white flag on his lance rode out of the Khalsa lines and down to Ferozepore, leaving behind two Sikh generals, one fat and frightened and t'other having hysterics with a pillow over his face, both conscious of duty well done, I don't doubt.

    Flashman and the Mountain of Light

  • That Saturday, there were lights at the Quai des Orfèvres until the small hours of the morning.

    Maigret and the Saturday Caller


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