Etymology
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dawn (n.)

1590s, "first appearance of daylight in the morning," from dawn (v.). Middle English words for "first appearance of light in the morning" were day-gleam (late 14c.), dayspring (c. 1300), and dawning. Dawn (n.) in the figurative sense of "first opening or expansion of anything" is from 1630s. As a fem. proper name, little used in U.S. before 1920 but a top 25 name for girls born 1966-1975.

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dawn (v.)

c. 1200, dauen, "to become day, grow light in the morning," shortened or back-formed from dauinge, dauing "period between darkness and sunrise," (c. 1200), from Old English dagung, from dagian "to become day," from Proto-Germanic *dagaz "day" (source also of German tagen "to dawn"), from PIE root *agh- "a day." Probably influenced by Scandinavian cognates (Danish dagning, Old Norse dagan "a dawning"). Related: Dawned; dawning.

Figurative sense "begin to develop" is from 1717. Of ideas, etc., "begin to become apparent or evident to the mind," by 1852.

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pre-dawn (adj.)

"of or occurring before the dawn of day," 1940, from pre- + dawn (n.).

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dawning (n.)

"first appearance of light in the morning," late 13c., verbal noun from dawn (v.). It superseded Middle English dauing, dawing, dayinge, from Old English dagung.

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*agh- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "a day" (as a unit of time). The initial d- in Germanic is of obscure origin.

It forms all or part of: adays; Bundestag; daily; daisy; dawn; day; holiday; Reichstag; today.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dah "to burn," Lithuanian dagas "hot season," Old Prussian dagis "summer."
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aurora (n.)

"morning light, dawn," late 14c., from Latin Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn, from PIE *ausus- "dawn," also the name of the Indo-European goddess of the dawn, from root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn (source also of Greek ēōs "dawn").

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aubade (n.)
"song to be performed in open air in the early morning, musical announcement of dawn," 1670s, from French aubade "dawn" (15c.), from Provençal aubada, from auba "dawn," from Latin alba, fem. of albus "white" (see alb).
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*aus- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to shine," especially of the dawn. It forms all or part of: austral; Australia; Austria; Austro-; Aurora; east; Easter; eastern; eo-; Ostrogoth.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit usah "dawn;" Greek ēōs "dawn;" Latin Aurora "goddess of dawn," auster "south wind;" Lithuanian aušra "dawn;" Old English east "east."

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auroral (adj.)
1550s, "pertaining to dawn," from aurora + -al (1). Meaning "of the color of dawn" is from 1827; meaning "of the aurora borealis" is from 1828.
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daybreak (n.)

"dawn, first appearance of light in the morning," 1520s, from day + break (n.).

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