dawn(redirected from dawns)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to dawns: DWN
dawn of a new day
A new or fresh beginning, or a turning point that achieves as much. With their first democratically elected leader in office, many in the nation felt that it was the dawn of a new day.
handbags at dawn
A confrontation or disagreement that is highly aggressive, emotionally expressive, and/or highly dramatic, but which does not end or result in violence. Used originally and primarily in reference to football (soccer) players, who would be sent off if they engaged in violent actions, the phrase is a play on the clichéd "pistols at dawn," indicating a forthcoming pistol duel. Primarily heard in UK. It was handbags at dawn between the two players, who had been verbally taunting one another throughout the match.
A situation that looks like it is beginning to improve when, in reality, it is not. Barb thought her marriage was beginning to improve when her husband came home in a good mood, but it proved to be a false dawn when he handed her divorce papers. Everyone was happy when they heard that they were all getting a raise, but it turned out to be a false dawn when management cut all of their hours.
at the crack of dawn
Very early in the morning, when the sun rises (dawn). It's a long drive, so we'll have to leave at the crack of dawn if we want to get there on time.
at the crack of dawnand at the break of dawn
Fig. at the earliest light of the day. Jane was always awake at the crack of dawn. The birds start singing at the break of dawn.
darkest hour is just before the dawnand It's always darkest just before the dawn.
Prov. When things are extremely bad, it may signal that they are about to get much better. Jill: I feel like giving up. I don't have a job, my boyfriend left me, and they're raising the rent for my apartment. Jane: It's always darkest just before the dawn.
dawn (up)on someone
Fig. [for a fact] to become apparent to someone; [for something] to be suddenly realized by someone. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Then it dawned upon me that I was actually going to have the job. On the way home, it dawned on me that I had never returned your call, so when I got home I called immediately.
from dawn to dusk
Fig. during the period of the day when there is light; from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun. I have to work from dawn to dusk on the farm. The factory runs from dawn to dusk to produce hats and gloves.
See also: dawn
It's always darkest just before the dawn.
See The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
at the crack of dawn
very early in the morning We had an eight o'clock flight so we were up at the crack of dawn.
dawn on you
to suddenly understand something It finally dawned on him that she'd been joking and he was worried for no reason.
at the crack of dawn
very early in the morning We had an early flight so we were up at the crack of dawn.
The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
something that you say which means a bad situation often seems worse just before it improves There's still a chance she might recover. The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
a false dawn
something which seems to show that a successful period is beginning or that a situation is improving when it is not
Usage notes: False dawn is the light which appears in the sky just before the sun rises in the morning.His victory in the French Open proved to be a false dawn after he failed to win another title for the next five years.
if light dawns on you, you suddenly understand something He was lying to me, but it was months before the light dawned. (often + on ) Light dawned on me when I heard she knew my mother.
crack of dawn
Very early morning, daybreak. For example, I got up at the crack of dawn. The crack in this term alludes either to the suddenness of sunrise or to the small wedge of light appearing as the sun rises over the horizon. Originally the term was usually put as crack of day. [Late 1800s]
Also, dawn upon. Become evident or understood, as in It finally dawned on him that he was expected to call them, or Around noon it dawned upon me that I had never eaten breakfast. This expression transfers the beginning of daylight to the beginning of a thought process. Harriet Beecher Stowe had it in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852): "The idea that they had either feelings or rights had never dawned upon her." [Mid-1800s]
light dawned, the
Understanding came at last, as in They couldn't figure out where they went wrong, but then the light dawned-they'd turned right instead of left . This expression transfers the beginning of dawn to human perception. [c. 1800]
See also: light
dawn onor dawn upon
To begin to be perceived or understood by someone; become apparent to someone: It dawned on me that I had forgotten to pick up some milk. A possible motive for the crime dawned upon the detective.