dawn

verb
\ ˈdȯn How to pronounce dawn (audio) , ˈdän\
dawned; dawning; dawns

Definition of dawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to begin to grow light as the sun rises waited for the day to dawn
2 : to begin to appear or develop a new era is dawning
3 : to begin to be perceived or understood the truth finally dawned on us

dawn

noun

Definition of dawn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the first appearance of light in the morning followed by sunrise danced till dawn at the crack of dawn Almost before the first faint sign of dawn appeared she arose again …— Thomas Hardy
2 : beginning the dawn of the space age

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for dawn

Synonyms: Verb

actualize, appear, arise, begin, break, commence, engender, form, materialize, originate, set in, spring, start

Synonyms: Noun

aurora, cockcrow, dawning, day, daybreak, daylight, light, morn, morning, sun, sunrise, sunup

Antonyms: Verb

cease, end, stop

Antonyms: Noun

nightfall, sundown, sunset

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dawn in a Sentence

Verb

They waited for the day to dawn. A new age is dawning.

Noun

as dawn breaks over the city Winter brings late dawns and early sunsets.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After the first greedy devouring of raw narration, there dawns a sense of the music within the words, the many voices that intrigue, or frighten, or amuse. John E. Mcintyre, baltimoresun.com, "If you are an editor, the world is in need of you," 18 May 2018 Quite without warning, a new era is dawning in Philadelphia. Bill Lyon, Philly.com, "It's a new (winning) era in Philly sports | Bill Lyon," 14 Apr. 2018 As the 90s dawned things were looking up for women. Allison Yarrow, Time, "How the ’90s Tricked Women Into Thinking They’d Gained Gender Equality," 13 June 2018 Another factor is a dawning awareness that social media may not be particularly good for our mental health or our democracy, leading to a wave of users scaling back and even opting out entirely. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "The Hot New Channel for Reaching Real People: Email," 19 Jan. 2019 Whether the nightmare is Orwell’s Big Brother, Huxley’s human hatcheries or the myriad variations on nuclear annihilation and worldwide contagion, a dreaded new reality has dawned. Anna Mundow, WSJ, "‘The Wall’ Review: We Shall Defend Our Island," 1 Mar. 2019 Saturday will dawn with a chilly but dry morning, along with a blend of clouds and sunshine. David Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, "We’re about to have an unusually cold weekend," 23 Mar. 2018 As 2018 dawned, expectations for self-driving vehicles were sky-high: Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car company, was testing fully driverless cars and preparing for a commercial launch in the Phoenix area. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "The hype around driverless cars came crashing down in 2018," 30 Dec. 2018 Decorative lanterns illuminated the colorful display of silks dawned on every guest at the chatty table. Eliseé Browchuk, Vogue, "Yali Hosted a Chinese New Year Dinner and All the Guests Wore Robes," 6 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The former chairman of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA was arrested at dawn on April 4 by Tokyo prosecutors. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn Will Stay in Jail Until at Least April 22," 12 Apr. 2019 Before dawn on March 11, 1982, the four were rousted in their San Salvador hotel and taken to secret police headquarters for interrogation by Moran. Andrew Selsky, The Seattle Times, "New push for justice after 4 Dutch journalists slain in 1982," 25 Mar. 2019 The former chairman of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA was arrested in a dawn raid Thursday by Tokyo prosecutors. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn to Stay Behind Bars for at Least 10 Days," 5 Apr. 2019 This Flower Flash was created under the light of a huge super moon on a freezing dawn in December. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "How One Celebrity Florist Brings Flowers into the Home for Spring," 19 Mar. 2019 At the famed British site Stonehenge, as many as 1,000 druids and pagans still gather annually on the spring equinox to watch dawn break over the prehistoric monument. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "What Exactly Is the Spring Equinox?," 19 Mar. 2019 Since ancient civilization, the dawn of a new year has been welcomed by setting resolutions for the future. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "To Me, From Me: Stories That Celebrate a Little Self-Indulgence," 7 Jan. 2019 Low humidity, gusty winds and hot temperatures continued to challenge the 2,700 personnel working to corral the fire in Spring Valley from dawn to dusk on Tuesday. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Northern California wildfires: Pawnee Fire grows as others approach containment," 27 June 2018 Image Many dozens of free performances of every kind — surf rock, punk cabaret, mandolin orchestra, Bach — fill the city from dawn to nightfall each summer solstice for Make Music New York. New York Times, "A Musical Solstice Spectacle Sprawls Across New York," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dawn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dawn

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dawn

Verb and Noun

Middle English, probably back-formation from dawning daybreak, alteration of dawing, from Old English dagung, from dagian — see daw entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dawn

Dictionary Entries near dawn

Dawes

Dawes' limit

dawg

dawn

dawn blue

dawn gray

dawn horse

Statistics for dawn

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dawn

The first known use of dawn was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dawn

dawn

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to begin to become light as the sun rises
: to start or begin
: to begin to be understood

dawn

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dawn (Entry 2 of 2)

: the time of day when sunlight first begins to appear
: the beginning of something

dawn

verb
\ ˈdȯn How to pronounce dawn (audio) \
dawned; dawning

Kids Definition of dawn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to begin to grow light as the sun rises Morning dawned bright and clear.
2 : to start becoming plain or clear It dawned on us that we were lost.

dawn

noun

Kids Definition of dawn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the time when the sun comes up in the morning
2 : a first appearance : beginning Early rockets marked the dawn of the space age.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dawn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dawn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dawn

Spanish Central: Translation of dawn

Nglish: Translation of dawn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dawn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dawn

Comments on dawn

What made you want to look up dawn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!