the small/early hours

(redirected from the early hours)

the small hours (of the night)

 and the wee hours (of the night)
the hours immediately after midnight. The dance went on into the small hours of the night. Jim goes to bed in the wee hours and gets up at lunchtime.
See also: hour, small

small hours

Also, wee hours. The hours following midnight, as in I stayed up working through the small hours, or The parents didn't come home until the wee hours. The adjectives small and wee both refer to the low numbers of those hours (one o'clock, two o'clock, etc.). [c. 1830]
See also: hour, small

the small hours

or

the wee hours

COMMON The small hours or the wee hours is the time from one o'clock in the morning until about five or six o'clock in the morning. They were arrested in the small hours of Saturday morning. That first night back, Jennifer and I sat up in bed talking into the wee hours.
See also: hour, small

the (wee) small hours

the early hours of the morning immediately after midnight.
See also: hour, small

the ˈsmall/ˈearly hours

(also the wee (small) ˈhours) the period of time very early in the morning, soon after midnight: He died in the early hours of Saturday morning.We stayed up talking into the small hours.
See also: early, hour, small
References in classic literature ?
With an alacrity beyond the common impulse of a spirit which yet was never indifferent to the credit of doing every thing well and attentively, with the real goodwill of a mind delighted with its own ideas, did she then do all the honours of the meal, and help and recommend the minced chicken and scalloped oysters, with an urgency which she knew would be acceptable to the early hours and civil scruples of their guests.
Further questioned, he described his awakening in the early hours of the morning, and the circumstances of his mother's death.
Inglethorp took the coffee after dinner about eight o'clock, whereas the symptoms did not manifest themselves until the early hours of the morning, which, on the face of it, points to the drug having been taken much later in the evening.
For especially wicked am I in the morning: at the early hour when the pail rattleth at the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes:--
The post to the south went out on the next day; and the early hour of the morning at which the messenger called for our letters made it a matter of ordinary convenience to write overnight.
Summary: Akola (Maharashtra) [India], Feb 5 (ANI): A fire broke out during the early hours of Monday at a furniture factory in Akola, Maharashtra.
He said in the early hours of Saturday, they received a call that a young man aged 25 years of Matamura ward in Mochudi had been hit by a train in Rasesa.
His flight path begins in the early hours of Sunday morning in Shanghai, taking him to Auckland, Buenos Aires and Amsterdam before returning to the Chinese city in the early hours of Tuesday morning, 23 January.
The gang smashed their way into the Sainsbury's Local store, in Haslucks Road, Shirley, in the early hours of Friday.
Summary: Two siblings were killed in the early hours of Wednesday when their car caught fire on a south Lebanon highway, security sources said.
Raiders made off with cash after stealing the ATM from the Tesco Express store at the Esso filling station in Wakefield Road, Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, in the early hours of Friday.
Two car bombs killed at least 20 people in Baghdad and wounded about 80 others in streets packed with crowds preparing for the Ramadan fast in the early hours of Tuesday, security sources said.
Police on Sunday lashed out at drunk drivers after two incidents in the early hours they said showed the "complete lack of road safety awareness and lack of respect for other road users" by some drivers.
No arrests have yet been made after the shocking attack in the early hours of Tuesday in the Colwyn Bay area.
The detailed forecast for inshore areas says hazy to misty/foggy conditions are likely in most places by the early hours