light dawned

light dawns (on one)

Something suddenly becomes clear, certain, or fully understandable to one. The light dawned when I remembered that my grandfather had been stationed in Japan many years ago. It wasn't until I was able to say it out loud that the light dawned on me about what really happened.
See also: dawn, light
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(the) light ˈdawned (on somebody)

somebody suddenly understood or began to understand something: I puzzled over the problem for ages before the light suddenly dawned on me.
See also: dawn, light
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

light dawned, the

At last one understands; one finally grasps the meaning or an idea, or the like. Strictly speaking this expression is tautological, since the noun dawn means the reappearance of light and the verb to dawn means to become light. However, when it is transferred to human perception, as it has been since about 1800, it makes sense as the beginning (dawn) of understanding (light). The British locution does not raise this problem, since it is came the dawn.
See also: light
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Then light dawned on him, and with it came a momentary rush of indignation.
Now a strange light dawned in her eyes, and in a moment she was lost in thought.
But in that quick interchange a new light dawned. Was that something" walking in the dark among the surburban hills?
A light dawned on Flambeau's face, and he said: "There was something else written by Quinton, some other words.
A light dawned upon his dusky soul, as he thought, through a speech of Mrs.
'What did you do in the war, sir?' she enquired, as this inkling of light dawned. A false dawn, as she instantly discovered.
Each morning, as light dawned, Dennis - now 92 - would scribble down the lines he had composed in the dark.
But as light dawned and villagers who had been opposing waste treatment in their village learnt of the act, a hartal (strike action) was called and fresh protests launched against the government's move.
When light dawned this morning, the Gunners were three points head of United but significantly had played a game more.
After puzzling over this, I responded, 'I guess I remember things that are important to me.' Suddenly, the light dawned, and I realized that if I am able to remember things I choose to remember, I am also able to forget things I want to forget." A profound, spiritual self-improvement manual for Christians, grounded in faith and reverence for God's love, It's Hard to Have a Mouse-free House is highly recommended.
The light dawned" "I realized that the images on television that had moved me were the daily, hellish circumstances of homeless people's lives ...
After a period of rebuffs, the light dawned. Suddenly, Parker became respected as the "Hip Hop Cop" for his inside knowledge.
I congratulated myself on my shrewdness until I got them home and light dawned on their unqualified hideousness.