\ 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



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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for dawn

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Every year, the realization would dawn anew: This fellowship, this constant and present connection, was the high peak. al, "Masked Observer bows at the crossroads of reverence and revelry," 13 Feb. 2021 Tagovailoa’s first start will dawn a new age for the Dolphins, who have long been in pursuit for another franchise quarterback since Hall of Famer Dan Marino retired in 2000. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa ready to take first hit since his last, and how he’s prepared for his first NFL start," 28 Oct. 2020 The new era would dawn some 40 years after Americans Walter Gilbert and Allan Maxam and Englishman Fred Sanger discovered different methods of reading the information on the double helix. Mark Johnson And Kathleen Gallagher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "One in a billion: A 4-year-old is plagued by a mysterious, relentless disease. His genome might hold clues.," 18 Dec. 2010 Here’s a real-life morning that dawns with cotton candy skies and pristine (if bent) ice in Clearwater County, in the Canadian province of Alberta. Kahli Hindmarsh, National Geographic, "Will New Zealand show us the future of travel?," 5 May 2020 Overnight lows hold mainly in the upper 60s Confidence: Medium A not-so-unlucky Friday the 13th dawns with northeast winds as high pressure noses into the area, bringing a much cooler and slightly less humid break in the pattern. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Tolerable warmth today; humidity increases tomorrow but breaks Friday," 10 Sep. 2019 Louisville Courier Journal The first Saturday in May dawned bright, beautiful and barren at Churchill Downs. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Despite coronavirus-related uncertainties, officials say a 2020 Kentucky Derby remains definite," 2 May 2020 Law enforcement wouldn’t fine people for not wearing masks, but businesses have the right to refuse service to people not dawning a mask. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Dallas County reports drop in coronavirus cases after back-to-back record highs; Tarrant County reports an additional death," 19 Apr. 2020 Last Saturday morning dawned bright and warm, perfect conditions for a ride before a looming spring storm on Colorado’s Front Range. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "Inside the Controversial 6-Foot Social-Distancing Study," 17 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During four years as a team manager, Lansing developed close friendships with players while shagging rebounds from the crack of dawn until midnight. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, "How can former college athletes cash in on their NCAA careers? These Chicago-born entrepreneurs have an idea.," 1 Apr. 2021 Nature works in mysterious ways, and like clockwork (at the crack of dawn, no less), my uterus would wake up and choose violence—ruining my REM cycle (and my sheets) in the process. Erin Parker, Glamour, "Knix Underwear Review: For the First Time in My Life, Period Stains Are a Non-Issue," 29 Mar. 2021 Tickets, which are free, are distributed to a line in Central Park that involves either waiting at the crack of dawn (a tradition almost as famed as the production itself) or through online and in-person lotteries. Olivia Hosken, Town & Country, "New York City's Shakespeare in the Park Plans to Return Summer 2021," 17 Mar. 2021 After a marathon awards season lengthened by two additional months because of the ongoing pandemic, the Oscar nominations will finally be announced on Monday at the crack of dawn in Los Angeles. New York Times, "What to Expect From the 2021 Oscar Nominations," 10 Mar. 2021 The gregarious brewmaster with a salt-and-pepper beard wakes up at the crack of dawn, walks several miles across Tuscaloosa and then spends hours on end making beer, before most of us wake up. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Brewery owner Bo Hicks ‘just ready for (COVID) to end’," 9 Mar. 2021 Stanley -- the trumpeter of the dawn of the age of television. Dick Feagler, cleveland, "With so many traditions on hold today because of the coronavirus, we return once more to Dick Feagler’s Christmas at Aunt Ida’s," 25 Dec. 2020 A typical day at the Allen home starts at the crack of dawn when everyone heads out for their normal morning practices, followed by evening workouts and then a few hours of sleep to get ready to do it again the next day. Mike Gegenheimer | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "It's in the blood: Sibling swimmers Layla and Garrison Allen thrive for Mandeville," 23 Dec. 2020 Spanish Love Songs’ latest misery-loves-company opus showcases singer-guitarist Dylan Slocum’s voice, trembling through darkness in search of a dawn. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, "The 25 Best Rock Albums of 2020: Staff Picks," 15 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of dawn


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

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Time Traveler for dawn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dawn

Cite this Entry

“Dawn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dawn. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for dawn



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



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

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


\ 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.



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.

Comments on dawn

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