1. The time each morning at which daylight first begins.
2. A first appearance; a beginning: the dawn of history. See Synonyms at beginning.
intr.v. dawned, dawn·ing, dawns
1. To begin to become light in the morning.
2. To begin to appear or develop; emerge.
3. To begin to be perceived or understood: Realization of the danger soon dawned on us.
[From Middle English daunen, to dawn, probably a back-formation from dauning, daybreak, alteration of dauing, from Old English dagung, from dagian, to dawn; see agh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.