\ 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 Jimmy Yang, a son born after the move to the U.S., said his mom would wake up well before dawn, go to work, get home in the afternoon and then make a full meal for them. Sarah Volpenhein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hmong refugee settled in Milwaukee, devoting her life to her husband and 10 children. Now, they're facing Mother's Day without her.," 8 May 2021 The mission fire began before dawn and eventually become a four-alarm event involving 80 firefighters from seven cities. Los Angeles Times, "Man accused of setting fire to San Gabriel Mission had conflicts with staff, sources say," 4 May 2021 Thousands in surrounding neighborhoods lined up before dawn to catch the buses for work. Star Tribune, "Overpass collapse on Mexico City metro kills at least 24," 4 May 2021 That crew arrived before dawn on Dec. 27, 1968, about 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii. New York Times, "SpaceX Makes First Nighttime Splashdown With Astronauts Since 1968," 2 May 2021 The greatest number of Eta Aquarid meteors should fall before dawn on Wednesday May 5. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "One of spring's top skygazing events is coming next week: The Eta Aquarid meteor shower," 1 May 2021 With days lasting roughly 15 hours this year, fasters eat a dinner meal after sunset and are up for breakfast before dawn. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, "Ramadan fasting something Naperville teens take in stride because the sacrifice lets them ‘connect to God’," 27 Apr. 2021 Toni Morrison the author woke early, long before dawn. The Editors, Curbed, "Remember the Office?," 26 Apr. 2021 Set the timer on your coffeepot and commit to arriving before dawn. Shawnté Salabert, Outside Online, "The Ultimate Arches National Park Travel Guide," 22 Apr. 2021

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 17 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.

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