I came across this idiom in a title, in association with a noun:

[noun of a product category] — The need of the hour

What does this mean?


"Of the hour" is an expression used to indicate "of the present (short) period":

  • Man of the hour
  • Need of the hour
  • etc (?)

It doesn't literally mean an hour, but it does imply a short period of time.


Hour here just means a particular point in time. The need of the hour simply refers to some need at some point in time.


Its idiomatic mean " requirements at a given time" according to RPSC


Need of the hour has implication that it needs to be high priority.

  • Could you provide any references to back your answer? It's a little low on content. – Mari-Lou A Apr 11 '14 at 11:19
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    Example : for the people who do not know to differentiate between a "your" and a "you're", knowledge of grammar is the need of the hour. – user3523123 Apr 11 '14 at 11:54

Most essential need or requirement.


"need of the hour" refers to the most recent need or the most pressing need.

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    Not really. As has been pointed out in many other answers here, it just means a current need, one that is relevant right now. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 24 '14 at 14:47
  • recent- adj. current – rodxxx Jul 24 '14 at 14:51
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    Most recent does not mean the same thing as current does. Nor does recent in most cases, for that matter. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 24 '14 at 14:52
  • thesaurus.com/browse/recent – rodxxx Jul 24 '14 at 14:54
  • A thesaurus does not give definitions. It gives only the most rudimentary of equivalences. You should try looking at the definitions and usage examples in an actual dictionary. That will tell you that current and recent, while occasionally interchangeable, have different basic meanings. And again, most recent and recent do not mean the same thing. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 24 '14 at 14:57

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