the first appearance of daylight in the morning: Dawn broke over the valley.
the beginning or rise of anything; advent: the dawn of civilization.
verb (used without object)
to begin to grow light in the morning: The day dawned with a cloudless sky.
to begin to open or develop.
to begin to be perceived (usually followed by on): The idea dawned on him.
Origin of dawn
before 1150; Middle English dawenRelated formsdawn·like, adjectiveun·dawned, adjective
(v.), Old English dagian,
derivative of dæg day
; akin to Old Norse daga, Middle Dutch, Middle Low German dagen, Old High German tagēn
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for dawn onstrike
British Dictionary definitions for dawn on
daybreak; sunriseRelated adjective: auroral
the sky when light first appears in the morning
the beginning of something
Derived Formsdawnlike, adjective
to begin to grow light after the night
to begin to develop, appear, or expand
(usually foll by on or upon) to begin to become apparent (to)
Word Origin for dawn
Old English dagian to dawn; see day
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for dawn on
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
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]
In addition to the idiom beginning with dawn
- crack of dawn
- light dawned
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.