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dawn

[dawn]
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noun
  1. the first appearance of daylight in the morning: Dawn broke over the valley.
  2. the beginning or rise of anything; advent: the dawn of civilization.
verb (used without object)
  1. to begin to grow light in the morning: The day dawned with a cloudless sky.
  2. to begin to open or develop.
  3. to begin to be perceived (usually followed by on): The idea dawned on him.

Origin of dawn

before 1150; Middle English dawen (v.), Old English dagian, derivative of dæg day; akin to Old Norse daga, Middle Dutch, Middle Low German dagen, Old High German tagēn
Related formsdawn·like, adjectiveun·dawned, adjective

Synonyms

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1. daybreak, sunrise. 5. appear, occur, break.

Antonyms

1. sunset.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for dawn on

dawn

noun
  1. daybreak; sunriseRelated adjective: auroral
  2. the sky when light first appears in the morning
  3. the beginning of something
verb (intr)
  1. to begin to grow light after the night
  2. to begin to develop, appear, or expand
  3. (usually foll by on or upon) to begin to become apparent (to)
Derived Formsdawnlike, adjective

Word Origin

Old English dagian to dawn; see day
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dawn on

dawn

n.

1590s, from dawn (v.).

dawn

v.

c.1200, dauen, "to dawn, grow light," shortened or back-formed from dauinge, dauing "period between darkness and sunrise," (c.1200), from Old English dagung, from dagian "to become day," from root of dæg "day" (see day). Probably influenced by a Scandinavian word (cf. Danish dagning, Old Norse dagan "a dawning;" cf. also German tagen "to dawn"). Related: Dawned; dawning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dawn on

dawn on

Also, dawn upon. Become evident or understood, as in It finally dawned on him that he was expected to call them, or Around noon it dawned upon me that I had never eaten breakfast. This expression transfers the beginning of daylight to the beginning of a thought process. Harriet Beecher Stowe had it in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852): “The idea that they had either feelings or rights had never dawned upon her.” [Mid-1800s]

dawn

In addition to the idiom beginning with dawn

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.