dawn

[ dawn ]
/ dɔn /

noun

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 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dawn on

dawn

/ (dɔːn) /

noun

daybreak; sunriseRelated adjective: auroral
the sky when light first appears in the morning
the beginning of something

verb (intr)

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)
Derived Formsdawnlike, adjective

Word Origin for dawn

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

Idioms and Phrases with dawn on (1 of 2)

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]

Idioms and Phrases with dawn on (2 of 2)

dawn


In addition to the idiom beginning with dawn

  • dawn on

also see:

  • 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.