dawn

1 of 2

verb

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

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

2 of 2

noun

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
As the 2014 election cycle dawned, Chevron took action to make sure its voice was heard. David Folkenflik, NPR, 28 Mar. 2024 It’s been the source of considerable Gen Z (and probably a lot of millennial) panic, as the realization dawns that the defining social-media platform of the 2020s really could go away. Dylan Sloan, Fortune, 15 Mar. 2024 Lewis was trailed by 8-year-old son Rory, who wore an Aztecs jersey with No. 1 on it for a closeup glimpse as a new era of SDSU football dawned. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2024 His dawning awareness of others around him imbues him with a kind of heroism. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2024 Saturday March 9 dawned as a gusty gray morning in Charleston, S.C. with thunderstorms rolling across the historic city and daggers of lightening lighting up the skies. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 16 Mar. 2024 Pink connotes dawn, the promise of coming daylight. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2024 Perhaps a dawning understanding that, for the most part, moms aren’t the primary problem with sons is beginning to take hold. Mark Harris Keita Morimoto, New York Times, 27 Feb. 2024 The flight represents the dawning commercial space age and is a vital step in NASA’s goal of putting astronauts back on the moon for the first time since the last Apollo mission in 1972. Eric Lagatta, USA TODAY, 8 Jan. 2024
Noun
The first of two waves of rain will begin to move ashore before dawn Saturday and will be followed by a second, weaker wave on Sunday, potentially disrupting the Padres first home stand of the season. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Mar. 2024 The water temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit before dawn Tuesday, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lawrence Richard, Fox News, 28 Mar. 2024 Look toward the northeastern horizon in the early hours before dawn or the northwestern horizon in the evening after sunset. The Arizona Republic, 27 Mar. 2024 The water temperature was about 47 degrees Fahrenheit before dawn, according to a buoy that collects data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2024 For Lec, at a certain point, the threat of the apocalypse must have seemed as banal and routine as the dawn of a new morning. Justin Chang, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2024 By dawn, locally heavy downpours are likely across the area. David Streit, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 The raid on Shifa Hospital began before dawn, when Israeli forces backed by tanks and artillery surrounded the complex and troops stormed into a number of buildings. Wafaa Shurafa, Samy Magdy and Tia Goldenberg, Quartz, 19 Mar. 2024 One Monday just before dawn, the task force’s detectives pulled up to a bungalow in a residential neighborhood near a freeway. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dawn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near dawn

Cite this Entry

“Dawn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dawn. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

dawn

1 of 2 verb
ˈdȯn How to pronounce dawn (audio)
ˈdän
1
: to begin to grow light as the sun rises
waited for the day to dawn
2
: to begin to appear or develop
a smile dawned on her face
3
: to begin to be understood
the solution dawned on him

dawn

2 of 2 noun
1
: the first appearance of light in the morning
2
: a first appearance : beginning
the dawn of a new age

More from Merriam-Webster on dawn

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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