[pree-dawn, pree-]


the period immediately preceding dawn.


noting the time immediately prior to dawn.

Origin of predawn

First recorded in 1945–50; pre- + dawn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pre-dawn

Contemporary Examples of pre-dawn

Historical Examples of pre-dawn

  • But the cold cramped him and he was glad to see the graying sky of pre-dawn.

    The Defiant Agents

    Andre Alice Norton

  • They woke him in the pre-dawn twilight and another group of Agvars took over.

    Uniform of a Man

    Dave Dryfoos

  • In the gray of pre-dawn on the fourth day Ashe wakened Ross.

    The Time Traders

    Andre Norton

  • I barely remember the welcome chill that the pre-dawn hours brought to the room.

    Kastle Krags

    Absalom Martin

  • The beast probably would lay up shortly after its pre-dawn feeding and he'd overhaul it in an hour or two.

    The World That Couldn't Be

    Clifford Donald Simak

Word Origin and History for pre-dawn

1940, from pre- + dawn (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper