pre·​dawn ˌprē-ˈdȯn How to pronounce predawn (audio)
variants or less commonly pre-dawn
: existing or occurring before dawn
a predawn attack
the predawn hours
… the gigantic telescope started scanning the predawn sky.Howard Blum
predawn noun
or less commonly pre-dawn
plural predawns also pre-dawns
The most bone-chilling predawns create the sharpest sunrises. Christine Schultz
… stepping out into the quiet pre-dawn, closing the door. Bryan Burrough

Examples of predawn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The prisoners landed at Fort Belvoir, Va., with clapping and cheers heard in the predawn hours. Ellen Knickmeyer,, 19 Sep. 2023 In the predawn hours, a large alligator was found in front of the store’s automatic glass doors, as if waiting patiently for the store to open. Warren Kulo |, al, 29 Aug. 2023 Hills around the city blazed in the predawn light after wildfires that had been burning since Tuesday jumped Lake Okanagan and spread into parts of Kelowna. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 18 Aug. 2023 The recovered body is believed to be a teen who had gone missing after going into Lake Michigan in predawn hours Tuesday, according to officials. Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune, 17 Aug. 2023 In the Northern Hemisphere, the best way to view the Perseids is to head out in the predawn hours. Denise Chow, NBC News, 11 Aug. 2023 Be in as dark a location as possible for optimum viewing, as the shower is during predawn hours and tends to be more active after midnight. The Arizona Republic, 8 Aug. 2023 Lee, 43, was fatally stabbed in San Francisco’s Rincon Hill neighborhood in the predawn hours of April 4. Jason Kravarik, CNN, 31 July 2023 The Trinity nuclear test, overseen by theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, had filled the predawn sky with fire, announcing the viability of the first proper nuclear weapon and the inauguration of the Atomic Era. WIRED, 24 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1883, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of predawn was in 1883

Dictionary Entries Near predawn

Cite this Entry

“Predawn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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