Don and dawn are two words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing. Pronunciation may change, even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. We will examine the definitions of the words don and dawn, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.
Don may mean to dress or to put on clothing. In this instance, don is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are dons, donned, donning. This use of the word don is fourteenth century contraction of the words do on. Don is also used in British English to mean a teacher at a university, particularly a senior member of the teaching staff. It was taken from the Spanish or Portuguese in the early 1500s, where don is a title of respect for a gentleman. Don is also used in American English as a title of respect in the mafia.
Dawn is the beginning of the day, the point at which light becomes visible before the sunrise. Dawn is also used figuratively to mean the beginning of something, the point at which something comes into existence, or the point at which one perceives something or understands something. Dawn is used as a noun or as an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are dawns, dawned, dawning. The word dawn is derived from the Old English word dauen which means to become day.
People ride on their bicycles naked and if you use to don your clothes, you can go for it. (The Deccan Chronicle)
This season, when carolers show up at your door trilling, “Don we now our gay apparel,” they just might be talking about your terrific tartan trousers. (Vogue Magazine)
Rasika, who played the role of a mafia don’s wife in Mirzapur, feels that today there are more “interesting and challenging” roles for females than before. (The Hindustan Times)
He joined Trinity College as a classics tutor in 1968, having graduated from Corpus Christi the previous year, and was an Oxford don his entire working life. (The Oxford Mail)
Pelosi, elected speaker 220-192, took the gavel saying U.S. voters “demanded a new dawn” in the November election that swept the Democrats to a House majority and are looking to “the beauty of our Constitution” to provide checks and balances on power. (The Albany Times Union)
Earlier in the week, I’d boarded a ship as dawn broke through silver mist along the dock at Kennacraig. (The Calavera Enterprise)
I had a spiritual change (as a teen) when it dawned on me that I could be an American kid playing American music, instead of trying to sound like I was British. (The Boston Herald)