see also: Dawn
  • (Australia) IPA: /doːn/
  • (British) IPA: /dɔːn/
  • (America) IPA: /dɔn/
  • (cot-caught) IPA: /dɑn/

dawn (dawns, present participle dawning; past and past participle dawned)

  1. (intransitive) To begin to brighten with daylight.
    A new day dawns.
    • Bible, Gospel of Matthew xxviii. 1
      In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene […] to see the sepulchre.
  2. (intransitive) To start to appear or be realized.
    I don’t want to be there when the truth dawns on him.
  3. (intransitive) To begin to give promise; to begin to appear or to expand.
    • in dawning youth
    • when life awakes, and dawns at every line
Translations Translations Noun


  1. (uncountable) The morning twilight period immediately before sunrise.
  2. (countable) The rising of the sun.
    Synonyms: break of dawn, break of day, day-dawn, dayspring, sunrise
  3. (uncountable) The time when the sun rises.
    Synonyms: break of dawn, break of day, crack of dawn, daybreak, day-dawn, dayspring, sunrise, sunup
    She rose before dawn to meet the train.
  4. (uncountable) The earliest phase of something.
    Synonyms: beginning, onset, start
    the dawn of civilization
Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. A female given name sometimes given to a girl born at that time of day.
    • 1958, MurielSpark, The Go-away Bird: With Other Stories, Macmillan 1958, page 20 ("The Black Madonna"):
      "Thomas, if it's a boy," she said, "after my uncle. But if it's a girl I'd like something fancy for a first name."
      "What about Dawn?" she said. "I like the sound of Dawn. Then Mary for a second name. Dawn Mary Parker, it sounds sweet."
    • 1964 Bob Gaudio - Sandy Linzer, Dawn (a song):
      Dawn, go away, I’m no good for you.

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