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
  1. noun
    the first light of day
    “we got up before dawn
    synonyms: aurora, break of day, break of the day, cockcrow, dawning, daybreak, dayspring, first light, morning, sunrise, sunup
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    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
  2. noun
    the earliest period
    “the dawn of civilization”
    synonyms: morning
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    type of:
    the beginning of anything
  3. noun
    an opening time period
    “it was the dawn of the Roman Empire”
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    type of:
    period, period of time, time period
    an amount of time
  4. verb
    become light
    “It started to dawn, and we had to get up”
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    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  5. verb
    appear or develop
    “The age of computers had dawned
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    type of:
    begin, start
    have a beginning, in a temporal, spatial, or evaluative sense
  6. verb
    become clear or enter one's consciousness or emotions
    “It dawned on him that she had betrayed him”
    synonyms: click, come home, fall into place, get across, get through, penetrate, sink in
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