Definition of book of hours in US English:

book of hours


  • (in the Christian Church) a book containing the prayers or offices to be said at the canonical hours of the day, particularly popular in the Middle Ages.

    • ‘Often, the introductory pages of local bibles or books of hours would be elegantly decorated with wonderful letter forms.’
    • ‘In the sixteenth century, chatelaines included a variety of attachments such as keys, knives, pouches, rosaries, pomanders, books of hours, and mirrors.’
    • ‘Numerous depictions of pigs appear in W. European art of the 15th and 16th centuries, often as symbols of November or December in books of hours.’
    • ‘These early books included histories, chronicles, romances, religious texts, and books of hours.’
    • ‘He is also known to have been a devoted reader of sacred works including books of hours and other illuminated texts.’
    • ‘Francois Regnault, who printed beautiful, elaborate primers and books of hours, does not seem to have ever fully recovered from the Act of 1534.’
    • ‘Beyond the planets are four depictions of the seasons that recall a medieval book of hours but seem to rely on the tarot, with images of the Fool, the Chariot and Death.’
    • ‘A book of hours would naturally contain a calendar, and this became the opportunity for a display of the illuminator's talent.’
    • ‘Psalters were the most popular book used for private devotion before the books of hours.’
    • ‘Like many books of hours, the Murthly book was written for a noblewoman.’