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Back-formation from dawning. Ultimately related to Proto-Germanic *dagaz, ‘day’.



dawn (third-person singular simple present dawns, present participle dawning, simple past and past participle dawned)

  1. (intransitive) To begin to brighten with daylight.
    A new day dawns.
    • Bible, Matthew xxviii. 1
      In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene [] to see the sepulchre.
  2. (intransitive) To start to appear or be realized.
    I don’t want to be there when the truth dawns on him.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
      Although the Celebrity was almost impervious to sarcasm, he was now beginning to exhibit visible signs of uneasiness, the consciousness dawning upon him that his eccentricity was not receiving the ovation it merited.
  3. (intransitive) To begin to give promise; to begin to appear or to expand.

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dawn (countable and uncountable, plural dawns)

  1. (uncountable) The morning twilight period immediately before sunrise.
  2. (countable) The rising of the sun.
  3. (uncountable) The time when the sun rises.
    She rose before dawn to meet the train.
  4. (uncountable) The beginning.
    • 2013 August 3, “Yesterday’s fuel”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8847: 
      The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania. The first barrels of crude fetched $18 (around $450 at today’s prices).
    the dawn of civilization




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dawn pl

  1. plural form of dan