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Syllabification: dawn
Pronunciation: /dôn
, dän

Definition of dawn in English:


1The first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise: the rose-pink light of dawn
More 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.
first thing in the morning, sun-up
1.1The beginning of a phenomenon or period of time, especially one considered favorable: the dawn of civilization
More example sentences
  • 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.
beginning, start, birth, inception, origination, genesis, emergence, advent, appearance, arrival, dawning, rise, origin, onset;
unfolding, development, infancy
informal kickoff


[no object] Back to top  
1(Of a day) begin: [with complement]: Thursday dawned bright and sunny
More 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.
begin, break, arrive, emerge
1.1Come into existence: a new era of land-use policy was dawning
More 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.
begin, start, commence, be born, appear, arrive, emerge;
arise, rise, break, unfold, develop
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 recognition
More 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.
occur to, come to, strike, hit, enter someone's mind, register with, enter someone's consciousness, cross someone's mind, suggest itself


late 15th century (as a verb): back-formation from Middle English dawning.


from dawn to dusk

All day; ceaselessly: day after day from dawn to dusk, they drove those loaded canoes
More example sentences
  • The chickens at our sanctuary are outside from dawn to dusk, spending much of their time foraging for greens and insects.
  • Kids no longer have to till fields from dawn to dusk or toil in sooty factories.
  • Beautiful gardens open from dawn to dusk and a collection of romantic paintings inside provide the perfect combination for a day's relaxation.

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Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ôrˈTHōəpē
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words