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 3 Thoughts

3 Thoughts

I agree with some of the statements made… technically though, Dawn is the morning twilight which starts when the sun is 6° BELOW the horizon and ENDS when the sun first goes above the horizon. People make words mean whatever they want them to mean and meanings many times will change over time due to the incorrect usage that is somehow accepted (this aspect obviously bothers me!! Lol).

- Anonymous September 13, 2019

I listened to a reading by Christine Sweet. In the story the old aunt died at the crack of dawn, just as the old apple tree cracked and fell. There was a significance there but I don’t remember. Most nights I’m awake and see the crack of dawn A few times I’ve heard a noise It’s my favorite part of the 24 hours, Wish I could find that recording again.

- Nancy February 2, 2019

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.

- JEL June 9, 2018

Add your thoughts

Idiom of the Day

throw the baby out with the bathwater

Meaning: to remove something good in the bid of getting rid of something bad

Example: Janet quitting her job because her ex started working there is a classic example of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Read on


Like Facebook Page

Latest Thoughts

Keep in Touch

Copyrights © 2021 - The Idioms - All Rights Reserved.
Copy Link