from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The very beginning of the day; dawn.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The time of day at which the first crow of a cockerel is heard; dawn or daybreak; first light
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The time at which cocks first crow; the early morning; the first light of day.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The time at which cocks crow; the dawn of day.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the first light of day
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The antients divided the night into different watches; the last of which was called cockcrow: and in consequence of this they kept a cock in their Tirat, or Towers, to give notice of the dawn.
He, who neither drank nor smoked, who never wasted the weight of his arms in an embrace, nor the touch of his lips a second longer than the most perfunctory of kisses, who was invariably up before cockcrow and asleep ere the kerosene lamp had a tenth emptied itself, and who never thought to die, was dead even more quickly than Brother Hal and Prince Lilolilo.
Early this morning I got some Conservative literature stuffed through the door, no doubt pushed through the letterbox by someone in a rush to return to his vault before cockcrow.
Everyone in it seemed to stir into immediate life at cockcrow, and the farm then spun and whirred like a complicated bit of clockwork until after sunset, when one by one the cogs and wheels that made it run began to fall away, rolling off into the dark to seek supper and bed, only to reappear like magic in their proper places in the morning.
It is not at all strange that I should use the word “cockcrow,” for, like most of the others here, I have only a literary knowledge of prisons.
(Also, in the pale cockcrow hours of the morning, the image of a snow-white tiger with a blood-splattered coat proved a nice and almost fashionable juxtaposition to paint-splattered stoles and my imagination just started to run with it.)
Silent Poem backroad leafmold stonewall chipmunk underbrush grapevine woodchuck shadblow woodsmoke cowbarn honeysuckle woodpile sawhorse bucksaw outhouse wellsweep backdoor flagstone bulkhead buttermilk candlestick ragrug firedog brownbread hilltop outcrop cowbell buttercup whetstone thunderstorm pitchfork steeplebush gristmill millstone cornmeal waterwheel watercress buckwheat firefly jewelweed gravestone groundpine windbreak bedrock weathercock snowfall starlight cockcrow
A visage would loom up at a party, or a literary reference would be on the tip of my tongue, and my recognition of the first or recollection of the second would dissolve like a ghost at cockcrow.
When he wakes at cockcrow the revellers are nearly all asleep.
But Mrs. Newcome had been beforehand with him, and had visited the Chevalier de Blois almost at cockcrow.