false dawn

noun
zodiacal light occurring before sunrise.

Origin:
1825–35

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
false dawn
 
n
zodiacal light appearing just before sunrise

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  false dawn1
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  temporary light on the eastern horizon that precedes the rising sun by about an hour; also called zodiacal light
Main Entry:  false dawn2
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  something promising that comes to nothing
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Example sentences
Although much has been made of the flourishing of greenery in some areas, this could be a false dawn.
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