from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The time each morning at which daylight first begins.
  • n. A first appearance; a beginning: the dawn of history. See Synonyms at beginning.
  • intransitive v. To begin to become light in the morning.
  • intransitive v. To begin to appear or develop; emerge.
  • intransitive v. To begin to be perceived or understood: Realization of the danger soon dawned on us.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To begin to brighten with daylight.
  • v. To start to appear or be realized.
  • n. The morning twilight period immediately before sunrise.
  • n. The rising of the sun.
  • n. The time when the sun rises.
  • n. The beginning.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The break of day; the first appearance of light in the morning; show of approaching sunrise.
  • n. First opening or expansion; first appearance; beginning; rise.
  • intransitive v. To begin to grow light in the morning; to grow light; to break, or begin to appear
  • intransitive v. To began to give promise; to begin to appear or to expand.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To become day; begin to grow light in the morning; grow light: as, the morning dawns.
  • To begin to open or expand; begin to show intellectual light or power: as, his genius dawned.
  • To begin to become visible in consequence of an increase of light or enlightenment, literally or figuratively; begin to open or appear: as, the truth dawns upon him.
  • n. The first appearance of daylight in the morning.
  • n. First opening or expansion; beginning; rise; first appearance: as, the dawn of intellect; the dawn of a new era.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the first light of day
  • v. appear or develop
  • n. the earliest period
  • n. an opening time period
  • v. become light
  • v. become clear or enter one's consciousness or emotions


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Middle English daunen, to dawn, probably a back-formation from dauning, daybreak, alteration of dauing, from Old English dagung, from dagian, to dawn; see agh- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from dawning. Ultimately related to Proto-Germanic *dagaz, ‘day’.


  • XD my younger sister and i are gonna pick her up straight after school. this time we're gonna brave all obstacles, no matter what, to get to the airport hehe. thank goodness chem mock is during sch hours. speaking of which i havent studied anything.sigh. good luck to me. and i think a math was hard. at least i managed to do erm a few questions? couldnt prove the identity haha and all us sec fours are gonna get it from charissa on thurs. - _ - i'd better get prepared. (bring earmuffs) i think i told the whole world that i groped dawn (not physically!) * gropes dawn* = D oh yeah dawn!

    tamale-loco Diary Entry

  • The only thing that seems to be a similar variant is the word dawn.

    The Darkest Edge of Dawn

  • Half a foot of overnight snowfall that stops with the dawn is about perfect, guaranteeing that any tracks you cross will be fresh and the snow underfoot will be silent.

    The Deer Tracker's Handbook

  • We have been passing through a hard season, but the dawn is here.

    Canada's Widening Horizon

  • Print Fall from grace for Maldives' democratic crusader Mohamed Nasheed was elected in 2008 on a platform of democracy and change Just over three years ago, supporters of then President Mohamed Nasheed lined up along the seawall in the capital, Male, waving flags to usher in what they called the "dawn of democracy".

    BBC News - Home

  • In the shivery gray of mountain dawn, Stubener was routed from his blankets by old Pat.

    Chapter II

  • Soon dawn is opening the curtains of night and he drives off leaving me lost in the smoky night music still at play in the room.

    June « 2010 « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • A Provençal vineyard in the pre-dawn is a quiet, still place.

    liaison - French Word-A-Day

  • The fish and shellfish come into the mercado at dawn from the sea and lake.

    Vegetables in market stalls

  • (Soundbite of song, "You Can Dance") Mr. BRYAN FERRY (Musician): (Singing) In a discotheque at dawn is when it came to me.

    Bryan Ferry's 'Olympia': The Work Of A Perfectionist


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  • The transitive dawn is recently birthed.

    (Or should I say, just now unearthed?)

    But unless it is pruned

    It will soon be nooned.

    We'll be with that weed forever cursed.

    June 27, 2014

  • This usage barfs me.

    June 27, 2014

  • Just encountered a transitive use of the verb 'dawn', namely:

    "Artificial intelligence dawns its history back to the ancient times of the human being."'>From:

    June 27, 2014

  • Henry V, Act 4, Scene 1:

    "next day after dawn, / Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse."

    September 2, 2009

  • The soul at dawn is like darkened water

    that slowly begins to say Thank you, thank you.

    - Rumi, 'I was dead, then Alive', translation by Coleman Banks.

    December 13, 2008

  • See awake.

    September 14, 2008

  • OED2 gives the Shakespeare quotation from 1599 as its earliest example for the noun; the verb is recorded from 1499. "Dawning" as a noun dates to 1297 and comes from "dawing" recorded circa 900.

    September 4, 2008

  • Henry V, IV, I has:

    ...Not all these, laid in bed majestical,

    Can sleep so soundly as the wretched slave,

    Who with a body fill'd and vacant mind

    Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread;

    Never sees horrid night, the child of hell,

    But, like a lackey, from the rise to set

    Sweats in the eye of Phoebus and all night

    Sleeps in Elysium; next day after dawn,

    Doth rise and help Hyperion to his horse,

    And follows so the ever-running year,

    With profitable labour, to his grave...

    September 4, 2008

  • I remember hearing once that the noun form of dawn was first used by Shakespeare in one of his plays. I can't find any information online that would directly supports this. I can only find indirect support with Online Etymology stating that the noun version was first recorded in 1599. Does anyone else know anything about this?

    September 4, 2008