We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the "Crack of Dawn"?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

"The crack of dawn" is an idiomatic expression that is used to describe what many people consider a completely unreasonable time in the morning to arise and begin the day. When using this type of English saying, the purpose is usually to convey the idea that only something that is out of the ordinary or can only be accomplished successfully at this unusual time would justify this early rising. At times, referring to the crack of dawn helps to exemplify the level of responsibility and commitment expressed by a person who rises early to manage essential tasks.

For many, the crack of dawn is seen as a time early in the morning that is anything but desirable for waking up and beginning to engage in any type of tasks. Typically, there is a sense that while rising at such an hour is not desirable, there is the expectation of gaining some sort of benefit from the activity. For example, an individual may choose to get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning in order to do the week’s grocery shopping just as the stores open, and avoid having to go grocery shopping later in the day, when there are more customers crowding the aisles. In like manner, an exercise enthusiast may arise at the crack of dawn in order to jog or work out during a time frame in which there are not a lot of other joggers in the park or people at the health club.

While rising at the crack of dawn is sometimes done with the idea of gaining some benefit, other situations may use the term in a way that implies the early rising was completely unnecessary and unproductive. While some people like to get on the road at the crack of dawn when beginning a vacation, others find this to be unproductive, since the idea of a vacation is to relax and not be in a hurry. Other situations may also imply that getting up at the crack of dawn is ultimately futile if the purpose for doing so is to manage tasks that could just as conveniently be done later in the day.

Whether used as a way to indicate commitment and sacrifice or to describe a situation in which rising early does not accomplish anything of value, most people are aware of what is meant by the phrase crack of dawn. For many people, rising early is a necessity that must be observed regularly in order to maintain a job with unusual hours, or for those who want to accomplish certain tasks and free time later in the day for other activities. Others only rise at such an early hour for events that are out of the ordinary, such as boarding a plane for a trip.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including Language & Humanities, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon238934 — On Jan 06, 2012

You haven't explained why it's the *crack* of dawn and not the 'fizzle' or the 'pop' or the 'eruption' of dawn. Also, I don't agree that there's any connotation of unreasonableness; it just simply means the exact moment of the sun's beginning to rise.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.