1 early morning
VERB + DAWN greet (literary) He always got up to greet the dawn.
DAWN + VERB break, come (up) Dawn was breaking over the valley.
DAWN + NOUN light, sky | chorus The dawn chorus (= birds singing) woke Robyn at five. | patrol, raid Ammunition was seized during a dawn raid on the flat.
PREP. at ~ That morning, she rose at dawn. | before ~, by ~, till/until ~, towards ~
PHRASES (at) the crack of dawn (= as soon as it begins to be light), from dawn to dusk He works from dawn to dusk, and often well into the night.
ADJ. false This sudden success may prove to be a false dawn (= not the beginning of continued success). | new
PREP. ~ of the dawn of civilization/history/a new era Let's think back to the dawn of time.
PHRASES dawn bright, sunny, clear, cold, etc. The day dawned bright and sunny.
2 become clear
ADV. suddenly | gradually, slowly It slowly dawned on me that he might have been mistaken. | eventually, finally
VERB + DAWN begin to It was beginning to dawn on her that she had been fooled.
PREP. on The dreadful truth finally dawned on me.