- 1The first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise: he set off at dawnMore example sentences
- She pushed the horse faster, but didn't sit up until the first light of dawn rose over the horizon.
- All observations of mating behavior commenced at the beginning of this dawn period.
- She wakes up in those dawns and rises with the sun.
- 1.1The beginning of a phenomenon or period of time, especially one perceived as auspicious: the dawn of civilizationMore example sentences
beginning, start, birth, inception, conception, origination, genesis, emergence, advent, coming, appearance, debut, arrival, dawning, rise, starting point, origin, launch, institution, inauguration, opening, initiation, onset, outset, unfolding, development, infancy; day one• informal kick-off, the word go• formal commencement
- Driving through a land which has been intensively farmed since the dawn of civilisation, we soon reached the Ghab, a rich agricultural valley which had once been marshland.
- Humans require new dawns, fresh starts, ends of eras.
- If we are correct, the Late Devonian wood problem was an almost inevitable result of evolutionary developments at the dawn of life.
verb[no object] Back to top
- 1(Of a day) begin: [with complement]: Thursday dawned bright and sunnyMore example sentences
- On a day such as this, one might have hoped that the day would dawn bright and early, bringing sunshine and crisp, cold, blue skies.
- I kept the doors and windows closed even after day had dawned.
- The next day dawned late, and we set out across an inland sea - the giant frozen lake Kuttijarvi - so large we couldn't see other side.
- 1.1Come into existence: a new age was dawning in the Tory partyMore example sentences
- To be sure the threat to the Pattern has existed for the past couple of years, but I never thought the day would dawn when the outgoing committee was left with no alternative but to call it a day.
- A new age was dawning, and I was riding the crest of it.
- A new age has dawned, and the Holy Spirit has been poured out in a new way.
- 2Become evident to the mind; be perceived or understood: the awful truth was beginning to dawn on him (as adjective dawning) he smiled with dawning recognitionMore example sentences
- Realization seemed to dawn on Kaya's face after that sentence.
- It didn't dawn on us what the reader was really asking.
- Much of this has yet to dawn on Labour's backbenches and few would understand it even if spelled out for them.
late 15th century (as a verb): back-formation from Middle English dawning.