Is there a noun that describes the light at dawn in the same way as twilight describes the light at dusk?

Similarly, is there a dawn analogue to the adjective crepuscular ?

Many thanks for any suggestions!

closed as off-topic by AmE speaker, sumelic, Michael Rybkin, JonMark Perry, Lawrence Aug 21 '18 at 3:35

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  • Twilight refers to any time the sun is below the horizon, be it dawn or dusk. That would mean crepuscular refers to either one or both. – FimpleSlips Aug 19 '18 at 22:30
  • 1
    I was going to complain about a lack of research, but after a brief period of searching with Google, I have to agree it's hard to find quite what you're looking for here. Might I diffidently suggest examing the second line of The Star-spangled Banner and noting it doesn't use a single word to describe the moments after dawn? – Will Crawford Aug 19 '18 at 22:42
  • definitions – Phil Sweet Aug 19 '18 at 23:51
  • 2
    I think you’ve misunderstood twilight, which goes both ways. The word that is restrictive to evening-only twilight is gloaming, but I know no “antonym” to gloaming that means the dawn version not the dusk one. Dawning perhaps. – tchrist Aug 20 '18 at 2:45

n. Daybreak
The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
Usage examples on Wordnik.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.


Cocklight is more specific that twilight. Cocklight defines the mild orange red light at sunrise. Twilight is when the sun is at horizon, at dawn and eve too.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • 2
    Wait till you get the privilege to post comments. This is not an answer. – Kris Aug 20 '18 at 8:40
  • Ok @Kris. But cocklight defines the mild orange red light at sunrise. Twilight is when the sun is at horizon, at dawn and eve too. – Nikhil Jagtap Aug 20 '18 at 16:07

Civil Twilight

Civil twilight is the brightest of the 3 twilight phases. The Sun is just below the horizon, so there is generally enough natural light to carry out most outdoor activities. timeanddate.com

enter image description here


Morning civil twilight begins when the geometric center of the sun is 6° below the horizon and ends at sunrise. Evening civil twilight begins at sunset and ends when the geometric center of the sun reaches 6° below the horizon. In the United States' military, the initialisms BMCT (begin morning civil twilight, i.e. civil dawn) and EECT (end evening civil twilight, i.e. civil dusk) are used to refer to the start of morning civil twilight and the end of evening civil twilight, respectively. Civil dawn is preceded by morning nautical twilight and civil dusk is followed by evening nautical twilight.

Civil twilight in a small town in the Mojave desert enter image description here

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