false dawn


What does 'false dawn' mean in this phrase:
The current stabilization in the housing market is a false dawn?

Thank you.
  • tannen2004

    Senior Member
    It means that people think the problems in the housing market are over, but the author doubt this. It's just an illusion of a long-lasting stability.


    Senior Member
    Dawn is the time when the sun is just beginning to rise.
    So "dawn" is the figurative word of the turning point of something is getting better.

    "False dawn" means that it seems to be getting better, but in fact it is false.

    So the writer doesn't think the economy is getting better, actually.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, the dawn is the beginning of a new day, when things that seemed dark (bad) become brighter. This time, as others have said, it is an illusion.

    Here is another thread on the figurative use of dawn: at dawn of.


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    It's a "false hope," a mirage.

    (Note that there is an astronomical phenomenon known as "false dawn" that will be visible in the last two weeks of September during moonless nights; also known as Zodiacal light, the poet and scientist Omar Khayyam wrote about it in his Rubiayat. If you live in the right areas and are willing to wake up two hours before dawn, you can experience it for yourself.)
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