Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
the witching hour
1. A late time of night, most often midnight, sometimes associated with the appearance of supernatural forces or entities. Halloween was the only night of the year that our parents would let us stay up until the witching hour.
2. The time just before bedtime when children become overactive or overly excited. Sorry for all the noise, we're heading into the witching hour with the kids now.
Midnight, as in They arrived just at the witching hour. This term alludes to older superstitions concerning a time appropriate to witchcraft and other supernatural occurrences. Shakespeare and others wrote of "the witching time of night." The precise phrase was first recorded in 1835.
the witching hourmidnight.
In Shakespeare 's Hamlet, Hamlet declares: ‘Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world’. He is referring to the popular superstition that witches and other supernatural powers are active at midnight.