a false dawn

false dawn

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.
See also: dawn, false

a false dawn

mainly BRITISH, JOURNALISM
COMMON If an event is a false dawn, it seems to show that something is improving or something successful is happening, but in fact it is not. The new age of enterprise which the Government hoped would revitalise Britain in the Eighties turned out to be a false dawn. Everything they have said is sensible but we have had a lot of false dawns with this company before.
See also: dawn, false
References in periodicals archive ?
RECENT rises in house prices are a false dawn and property values will sink again, claim researchers.
Hetal Mehta, senior economic adviser to ITEM, said: "Current stabilisation is a false dawn.
There's always the risk of a false dawn if players get over confident but we've seen no evidence of that on the training ground.
So let's be patient and realise it is not a false dawn but the start of an exciting period for Welsh rugby.
As such, while this recovery is genuine in terms of economic data, and is likely to continue while sentiment is positive, it is likely to be a false dawn if subjected to a destabilising event.
If we don't continue to work hard then it could just be a false dawn.