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I came across the following phrase in www.oxforddictionaries.com : "he set off at dawn". At the same time in this dictionary it is not stated that "dawn" is a mass noun. I would like to ask therefore, why there is no article in front of dawn in the phrase?

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    Because some nouns don't have attached articles. They are fixed as they're written. For instance: at noon, at night. – Alejandro Feb 28 '16 at 14:12
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Dawn in your examples being used to tell the time

at dawn
at noon
at midnight
at two o'clock

none take articles.

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    Also last/this/next week/month/year, which don't even need 'at'! – Colin Fine Feb 28 '16 at 17:32

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