One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of, belonging to, or occurring in the hours just before dawn.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in George Benson (?1569–1648). From classical Latin antelūcānus (also antilūcānus) of, belonging to, or occurring in the hours just before dawn from ante- + lūc-, lūx light + -ānus.
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