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

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 That most of these movies end with their antiheroes jailed or dead never dawns on them. Pam Grady, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘American Animals’: Playing at cops and robbers," 30 May 2018 Heavy armor disappeared as the age of firearms dawned. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Overloaded Soldier: Why U.S. Infantry Now Carry More Weight Than Ever," 26 Dec. 2018 Nelson, who primarily works with at-risk children, dawned on the idea after reflecting on his own attendance of a similar group. Nesa Mangal, Good Housekeeping, "Teacher Starts Gentleman's Club to Get Kids Dressed and Ready for Success," 26 Feb. 2016 His empty, sweeping landscape revealed under a spectacular, roseate sky is imbued with a sense of hope as captured in the dawning light of ephemeral atmospheric effects. Mary Tompkins Lewis, WSJ, "‘Mantegna and Bellini’ Review: A Family Affair," 3 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, full moons are best viewed during dusk and dawn. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "A Super Snow Moon Is Coming Next Week," 16 Feb. 2019 After dawn on Friday, mourners gathered at the Prophet’s Mosque in the city of Medina, one of Islam’s holiest sites, for a service in Mr. Khashoggi’s memory. Margherita Stancati, WSJ, "Turkey Claims More Audio Evidence Contradicts Saudis on Khashoggi Death," 16 Nov. 2018 Investigators believe Escobar was the man who used a baseball bat to bash the heads of three homeless men sleeping on downtown Los Angeles streets before dawn on Sept. 16, police said in a statement. Christopher Weber, The Seattle Times, "Suspect in deadly California attacks was deported 6 times," 25 Sep. 2018 Investigators believe Escobar was the man who used a baseball bat to bash the heads of three homeless men who were sleeping on downtown streets before dawn on Sept. 16, Los Angeles police said in a statement. Fox News, "California attacks suspect probed in case of missing Texans," 25 Sep. 2018 Shortly after dawn on Saturday, September 2, 1944, Lieutenant Junior Grade George Herbert Walker Bush, joined by two crew mates, took off from the USS San Jacinto to attack a radio tower on Chichijima. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Jon Meacham's Eulogy for George H.W. Bush: Read What the President's Biographer Had to Say," 5 Dec. 2018 Nature •Hike or walk your dog where admission is free from dawn to dusk. Vickie Snow Jurkowski, Daily Southtown, "From fests to concerts to stargazing, lots of events offer free admission this summer," 12 July 2018 The Alaska Botanical Garden is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Anchorage Daily News, "July is a great time to visit the Alaska Botanical Garden," 11 July 2018 Trail Wood Sanctuary is open daily from dawn to dusk. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Teale's Legacy Lives On At Trail Wood Sanctuary," 9 July 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

18 Mar 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 shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!