Definition of hourglass in English:



  • 1A timing device with two connected glass bulbs containing sand that takes an hour to pass from the upper to the lower bulb.

    • ‘When you run out of paper or the words you write are jumbled up, think of the hourglass passing sand from the top to the bottom.’
    • ‘An expensive chronometer would help here, but one or more well-made hourglasses will also do just fine.’
    • ‘Like sands through the hourglass, these are the stars of our lives.’
    • ‘The Four Horsemen, whose appearance, experts believe, marks the imminence of a major conflict, are armed with state-of-the-art swords, scythes and hourglasses, as well as a fully operational last trumpet.’
    • ‘At about one o'clock I was still awake, sitting patiently with the lights off, watching the gold sand in the hourglass trickling with an almost painful laziness.’
    • ‘We have also projected out, using black hourglasses, a possible path for the propensity to hold U.S. currency.’
    • ‘It went down brilliantly until the day my friend thumped the hourglass - and sand began to trickle through.’
    • ‘I'm constantly aware of the ticking of the clock and at any point in the day I can hear the gentle hiss of the sand in the hourglass.’
    • ‘The last sands of the hourglass passed through and it turned over, beginning again.’
    • ‘They were staring down in horror, still clutching the hourglasses.’
    • ‘Let them slip away like the fine sand in an hourglass, one or many at a time, till there remains nothing.’
    • ‘Note the inverted hearts, the tree, the anchor, and the sand glass or hourglass.’
    • ‘Long may the days of our lives run like sand through her hourglass.’
    • ‘But the sand in which you are drawing the line is the sand of the hourglass.’
    • ‘Using simple blocks with shapes like cubes or hourglasses, researchers have found ways to construct strong panels with no fasteners securing most of the blocks.’
    • ‘It suddenly melted away like sand in an hourglass.’
    • ‘By ‘them’ we mean creations inspired by such everyday objects as bottle gourds, pipettes and pumpkins, not to mention hourglasses and Japanese dining tables.’
    • ‘Like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives.’
    • ‘Their lives are represented by the flows of hourglasses.’
    • ‘The invention of timekeeping devices - hourglasses, water clocks, graduated tapers - made it possible for early civilized people to begin to control and standardize the units of time, and in doing so to coordinate their lives.’
    1. 1.1as modifier Shaped like an hourglass.
      ‘her hourglass figure’
      • ‘She's still a girl, but she's got that hourglass figure, and she really enhances it.’
      • ‘Even the dolls that girls play with are thin and have hourglass figures.’
      • ‘She has brown hair, brown eyes, is about medium height, and a not quite hourglass figure.’
      • ‘If you are blessed with a curvy, hourglass figure, then a corset or basque will certainly make the most of your assets.’
      • ‘Often these ideals take the form of ridiculously unfeasible forms with unhealthily exaggerated hourglass figures.’