false dawn

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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

a false dawn

a misleadingly hopeful sign.
A false dawn is literally a transient light in the sky which precedes the rising of the sun by about an hour, commonly seen in Eastern countries.
1992 Frank McLynn Hearts of Darkness After five weeks Clapperton seemed to recover; it proved merely a false dawn for two days later Clapperton died.
See also: dawn, false
References in periodicals archive ?
"We've had too many false dawns so far where we've not won as many games as I would like to, even when we've dominated games.
Comment on "False dawns and new horizons in patient safety research and practice." Int J Health Policy Manag.
That's why I always feel the emotion of the people and hate to see false dawns.
"The lesson from previous financial crises was that they were not resolved quickly, and that there could be false dawns," minutes of the meeting said.
The BOE minutes said "inflation would probably be higher in the short-term than the committee had thought a month ago," while the rebound in economic confidence paired with the improved outlook for asset prices "could mark the start of a virtuous upward spiral for the economy." However, the board held a caution tone and warned that there could be "false dawns" as the economy has yet to reach "the point where the level of spare capacity was shrinking," and went onto say that "a larger asset-purchase program could still be justified" to encourage a sustainable recovery.
"Managing director Derek Llambias has suggested the club could be sold this week, but Alan can't put his life on hold because there have been so many false dawns.
Campaign lawyer David Enright said: "We think it's more or less a fait accompli but we have had several false dawns before.
"The site has previously had too many false dawns, but BPG has created a scheme that can be developed, not withstanding the current challenging environment.
Although there have been many false dawns at the Doha talks, this is the first time diplomats have talked in such practical terms about wrapping up the talks.
It's been a long wait, and there have been a few false dawns along the way, but Kansai residents are following the Tigers' progress with a fervor not seen since 1985, the last time the team brought the pennant home--and won the Japan Series for the only time.
General manager Crawford Baptie said: "We've had too many false dawns but hopefully this time it is for real."
How many more let-downs and false dawns must the fans be forced to stomach before the board finally acts?
WALTON MP Steve Rotheram said residents who had suffered years of dereliction and decay because of the stalemate over the regeneration of Anfield needed to be assured there would be no more false dawns.
We have had too many false dawns and want to see Billingham House flattened, once and for all.
He has witnessed a few false dawns, with his comeback date postponed after riding out in Newmarket for Sir Michael Stoute.