to dawn on

Idiom Definition

"to dawn on"

to realize something (often slowly over time)

Idiom Definition - to dawn on


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to dawn on

Two students are talking ...

Student 1:  Did you get your term paper printed?

Student 2:  Eventually.

Student 1:  What happened?

Student 2:  I couldn't get the printer to work so I went to the store and got some new printer ink cartridges.  The printer still wouldn't print.  Then I reinstalled the printer driver files and the printer still wouldn't print.  I kept trying different things and it slowly dawned on me that the printer was simply broken and I had a friend print my term paper on her printer.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to dawn on

Two real estate developers are talking ...

Developer 1:  How's it going with that new development you're working on?

Developer 2:  Alright, now, but it looked like it wasn't going to be possible for a while.

Developer 1:  What happened?

Developer 2:  The cost to clear the forest to get the land ready for building houses was going to be too expensive.

Developer 1:  What changed?

Developer 2:   It suddenly dawned on me that we could sell the trees to a lumber mill which would help cover the costs of clearing the land.

to dawn on - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   4,119   click for frequency by country

to dawn on - Gerund Form:

Dawning on me slowly was the idea that I was in trouble.

to dawn on - Examples:

1)  It began to dawn on me that this apparent strength was in fact their weakness.

2)  It was starting to dawn on me that these were not just Silicon Valley elite -- they were real people.

3)  They are now arguing over fighting seasons. How come it fails to dawn on both of them that after 10 years we are STILL fighting counter-insurgents.

4)  After health care and global warming go down the tubes, perhaps it will dawn on people we are ruled by wealth, and nothing else.

5)  What caused it to finally dawn on you?

6)  By and by it dawned on her that the truth was in fact everywhere.

7)  So when he saw the browser it instantly dawned on him that this would be the greatest customer development tool ever.

8)  When I read your post it suddenly dawned on me that maybe I forgot to add the class.... I did. 

9)  There seemed no end to Sarah's realm, nor her destruction, and it dawned on Nancy that the entire house had slowly transformed into a birdcage.

10)  In a flash of excitement and disbelief it dawned on me: I was dreaming!

11)  This gradually dawned on me during the 1990s.

12)  Just as I read your post here it dawned on me. This is the one and only photo of this guy.

13)  Slowly it dawned on me that my internal grammar was a less than perfect machine.

14) The thought dawned on me, admittedly with embarrassing slowness. 

15)  The journalists at the CBC constantly reflect a left-wing world view. It never dawns on them to get the views of very conservative or religiously conservative individuals.

16)  In psychological development, this first awakening occurs when it dawns on the baby that mother is not an extension of herself. 

17)  That was yesterday. Today it dawns on me that I have yet to observe life in the very slow lane.

18)  He mastered the Australian crawl, which was just dawning on the swimming world.

19)  Thankfully, it seems to be dawning on our politicians that we are headed down the road to energy disaster.

20)  I'm slowly dawning on to the fact that I need to get more active when it comes to communicating.