zero hour

zero hour

Meaning

  • a time when a crucial decision or essential action must be taken
  • the time at which a strategic military action is planned to start
  • the moment when a compulsory activity, attack, operation, etc. is scheduled to begin
  • the time at which a significant event is expected to take place
  • a specific time when any crucial act supposed to take place
  • (literally) refer to midnight, or 00:00

In the Indian ParliamentZero Hour is the time when Members of Parliament (MPs) can raise issues of urgent public importance during this time with prior notice to the Speaker. Since it starts right at 12 noon immediately following the Question Hour, it is probably called Zero Hour.

Zero-hours contract” is an agreement where the company does not have to offer regular work for the worker, but the worker must be on call in case they are required to work.

Example Sentences

  1. Right before the dawn, the British military had been waiting for zero hour to start the operation against terrorists in Afghanistan.
  2. The leader made a good decision when the team was in zero hour.
  3. Yesterday 18:00 has marked as the zero hour of the biggest dance competition.
  4. B22 bombers were taking off, and zero hour would be about 9 p.m.

Origin

The Zero Hour or Stunde Null (in German) was the expression used to mark the end of the Second World War that came with German surrender on May 8, 1945.

Another theory suggests that the idiom’s origin is related to military operations for ages because most ambush military attacks were made at midnight without letting the enemy know. If you have any information or suggestions related to this idiom, then please do share below.

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Z 3 Thoughts

3 Thoughts

Agreed, Freya, about the message. The example should should say ‘terrorism’ though.

- Michelle R Lange April 14, 2021

@Wadood Alam

The author did not call the Afghan people, the terrorists – here the author has mentioned the action of British military against terrorism in Afghanistan. There is nothing wrong with the above example.

Freya

- Freya November 14, 2018

I found this website very helpful. But sad to read the example of this idiom. There could be other example. Calling afghan people terrorist is not a good thing specially in academic and educational platform. I request admin to take down such examples which can hurt a community and add alternate examples. thanks

- Wadood Alam November 13, 2018

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Idiom of the Day

put your foot in it

Meaning: say something (by mistake) that upsets, humiliates, or embarrasses someone

Example: Carla put her foot right in it when she congratulated her neighbour on being pregnant. It turns out she's not expecting but had just put on weight. Read on

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