The noun dawn refers to the first light of day, or the first time period, like the dawn of a new era, which occurs when a new president takes office.

Not just the beginning of a day, the noun dawn can refer to any beginning, like the dawn of the Internet era. As a verb, dawn can mean "become light" or "become clear," like when it dawns on you that you left an important paper at home today. In that case, you can suddenly see what you did wrong, like at the dawn of a new day, when it is no longer dark and you can see, literally.

Definitions of dawn

n the first light of day

“we got up before dawn
aurora, break of day, break of the day, cockcrow, dawning, daybreak, dayspring, first light, morning, sunrise, sunup
sundown, sunset
the time in the evening at which the sun begins to fall below the horizon
Type of:
hour, time of day
clock time

n the earliest period

“the dawn of civilization”
Type of:
the beginning of anything

n an opening time period

“it was the dawn of the Roman Empire”
Type of:
period, period of time, time period
an amount of time

v become light

“It started to dawn, and we had to get up”
Type of:
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v appear or develop

“The age of computers had dawned
Type of:
begin, start
have a beginning, in a temporal, spatial, or evaluative sense

v become clear or enter one's consciousness or emotions

“It dawned on him that she had betrayed him”
click, come home, fall into place, get across, get through, penetrate, sink in

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