dawn on

(redirected from dawn upon)

dawn (up)on (one)

To occur to one. Once I pulled up to the bank, it dawned on me that I had forgotten my wallet. Did it just dawn on you that throwing the ball in the house might be a bad idea, or did you have that realization before breaking mom's vase?
See also: 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.
See also: dawn, on

dawn on

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]
See also: dawn, on

dawn on

or dawn upon
v.
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.
See also: dawn, on
References in classic literature ?
When it once begins to dawn upon you that you are a good deal cleverer than any one else in this world, bashfulness becomes shocked and leaves you.
Two feet off, you dimly observe a half-dressed ruffian, waiting to kill you, and you are preparing for a life-and-death struggle with him, when it begins to dawn upon you that it's Jim.
It is beginning to dawn upon me now what the nature of the motive must be which was responsible for them.
A new light seemed to dawn upon my mind, and bounding with joy, I communicated my discovery to my father.
Later, when they discovered the overturned cauldron, and that once more their arrows had been pilfered, it commenced to dawn upon them that they had offended some great god by placing their village in this part of the jungle without propitiating him.
I must have gone about a mile before the truth dawn upon me--I was lost, hopelessly lost.
It begins to dawn upon me, now, that possibly, what I have been taking for uniform ugliness in the galleries may be uniform beauty after all.
Those charming creations of the poet, John Doe and Richard Roe, when they first dawn upon him, will open a new world for the enlargement of his mind and the improvement of his heart.
Then I remembered the words which the king and I had whispered together of the cause for which this Ingomboco was set, and hope crept back to me like the first gleam of the dawn upon a stormy night.
Then it began to dawn upon me that the air was heavy, and dank, and cold.
returned David, breathing more freely, as the truth began to dawn upon him.
After the fourth effort it appeared to dawn upon the king of beasts that he had met his master, his head and tail dropped and when Tarzan advanced upon him he backed away, though still growling.
Only slowly did it dawn upon us that the whole world structure and order that we had inherited from the 19th century was gone.
Second, the power of social media monitoring is just beginning to dawn upon most businesses.
Now we are observing the situation, hoping that wisdom will dawn upon them (Awami League).