crack of dawn

crack of dawn

Meaning | Synonyms

  • very early in the morning
  • the time right before sunrise
  • first light
  • daybreak; break of day
  • early morning
  • sunrise; sunup

Example Sentences

  1. The tsunami hit the shores of Japan at the crack of dawn, which shattered the entire shore to one miles deep.
  2. We must have to wake up before the crack of dawn in order to complete our journey at time.
  3. We are leaving this place at the crack of dawn tomorrow.
  4. You should go to bed now – if you really wish to wake up at the crack of dawn.
  5. Wake up! Its crack of dawn. And get ready for school.
  6. Jenny is always up at the crack of dawn while Jack is a pure night owl.
  7. We were always up at the crack of dawn to catch more fishes.
  8. We will meet when it’s crack of dawn.
  9. She got up at the crack of dawn the very next morning and started working on her project.


There is no definitive origin for this phrase. To decipher it you can look at the origin of the word “crack.” In this context in means to begin. Thus, the crack of dawn will be at the beginning of the dawn.

You can also look at the symbolism of the phrase. The crack of dawn would be the single second in which the sun appears above the horizon. The word “crack” can also mean a split or an opening. As the sun appears above the horizon it appears to “crack” the darkness. Initially you will only be able to see a thin line of sunlight that progressively becomes wider.

In the 1300s the word “crack” meant to burst or to split open. If you have ever looked at the sun rising, you will have noticed that it seems like something is slowly splitting open. The sun could also be said to “burst” over the horizon. One minute is it not there and the next it has appeared.

There are many theories of the etymology of the phase, depending on how you interpret the word “crack.”

The phrase originated in the late 1800s and was originally “The crack of day.”


C 1 Comment

1 Comment

AuthorJEL writes on 9th June 2018

There are many theories as to the origin of this phrase. One is when the first rays of sunlight rise above the horizon and hit the rocks of hills or mountains, the rocks immediately start to warm and, depending on the rocks, can emit cracking sounds. Hence, the crack of dawn.

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