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!

  • 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. Aug 19, 2018 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? Aug 19, 2018 at 22:42
  • definitions
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 19, 2018 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, 2018 at 2:45

3 Answers 3


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


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.

  • 2
    Wait till you get the privilege to post comments. This is not an answer.
    – Kris
    Aug 20, 2018 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. Aug 20, 2018 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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