a. Used to indicate position above and supported by or in contact with: The vase is on the table. We rested on our hands and knees.
b. Used to indicate contact with or extent over (a surface) regardless of position: a picture on the wall; a rash on my back.
c. Used to indicate location at or along: the pasture on the south side of the river; a house on the highway.
d. Used to indicate proximity: a town on the border.
e. Used to indicate attachment to or suspension from: beads on a string.
f. Used to indicate figurative or abstract position: on the young side, but experienced; on her third beer; stopped on chapter two.
a. Used to indicate actual motion toward, against, or onto: jumped on the table; the march on Washington.
b. Used to indicate figurative or abstract motion toward, against, or onto: going on six o'clock; came on the answer by accident.
a. Used to indicate occurrence at a given time: on July third; every hour on the hour.
b. Used to indicate the particular occasion or circumstance: On entering the room, she saw him.
a. Used to indicate the object affected by actual, perceptible action: The spotlight fell on the actress. He knocked on the door.
b. Used to indicate the object affected by a figurative action: Have pity on them.
c. Used to indicate the object of an action directed, tending, or moving against it: an attack on the fortress.
d. Used to indicate the object of perception or thought: gazed on the vista; meditated on his actions.
- Used to indicate the agent or agency of a specified action: cut his foot on the broken glass; talked on the telephone.
a. Used to indicate a medicine or other corrective taken or undertaken routinely: went on a strict diet.
b. Used to indicate a substance that is the cause of an addiction, a habit, or an altered state of consciousness: high on dope.
a. Used to indicate a source or basis: “We will reach our judgments not on intentions or on promises but on deeds and on results” ( Margaret Thatcher )
b. Used to indicate a source of power or energy: The car runs on methane.
a. Used to indicate the state or process of: on leave; on fire; on the way.
b. Used to indicate the purpose of: travel on business.
c. Used to indicate a means of conveyance: ride on a train.
d. Used to indicate availability by means of: beer on tap; a physician on call.
- Used to indicate belonging to: a nurse on the hospital staff.
- Used to indicate addition or repetition: heaped error on error.
a. Concerning; about: a book on astronomy.
b. Concerning and to the disadvantage of: We have some evidence on him.
- Informal In one's possession; with: I haven't a cent on me.
- At the expense of; compliments of: drinks on the house.
- In or into a position or condition of being supported by or in contact with something: Put the coffee on.
- In or into a position of being attached to or covering something: Put your clothes on.
- In the direction of something: He looked on while the ship docked.
a. Toward or at a point lying ahead in space or time; forward: The play moved on to the next city.
b. At or to a more distant point in time or space: I'll do it later on.
c. Toward or to a different state or condition: Let's move on to another subject.
- In a continuous course: He worked on quietly.
a. In or into performance or operation: Turn on the radio.
b. In progress or action; in a state of activity: The show must go on.
- In or at the present position or condition: stay on; hang on.
- In a condition of being scheduled for or decided upon: There is a party on tonight.
- Being in operation: The television is on.
a. Engaged in a given function or activity, such as a vocal or dramatic role: You're on in five minutes!
b. Under or behaving as if under observation: A minister is always on.
- Informal Functioning or performing at a high degree of competence or energy: The goalie is really on.
a. Planned; intended: We have nothing much on for this weekend.
b. Happening; taking place: The parade is on.
- Baseball Having reached base safely; on base: Two runners are on.
Origin of on
Middle English from
Old English an, on
; see an-
in Indo-European roots.
Usage Note: Both on and onto can be used to indicate motion toward a position: The cat jumped on the table or The cat jumped onto the table. However, onto is more specific, indicating that the motion was initiated from an outside point. They wandered onto the battlefield means that they began their wandering at some point off the battlefield, while They wandered on the battlefield implies that the wandering began on the battlefield.
A chemical compound that is not a ketone or a compound that contains oxygen in a carbonyl group: parathion.
Origin of -on
Alteration of -one
- In the state of being active, functioning or operating.
- Performing according to schedule.
- Are we still on for tonight?
- Is the show still on?
- (UK, informal) Acceptable, appropriate.
- right on; bang on; not on
- (informal) Destined, normally in the context of a challenge being accepted; involved, doomed.
- "Five bucks says the Cavs win tonight." "•"You're on!"
- Mike just threw coffee onto Paul's lap. It's on now.
- (baseball, informal) Having reached a base as a runner and being positioned there, awaiting further action from a subsequent batter.
- To an operating state.
- turn the television on
- Along, forwards (continuing an action).
- drive on, rock on
- In continuation, at length.
- and so on.
- He rambled on and on.
- (cricket) In, or towards the half of the field on the same side as the batsman's legs; the left side for a right-handed batsman; leg.
- (not US) Later.
- Ten years on nothing had changed in the village.
- Positioned at the upper surface of, touching from above.
- on the table; on the couch
- At or near; adjacent to.
- Soon we'll pass a statue on the left.
- The fleet is on the American coast.
- He wore old shoes on his feet.
- At the date of.
- Born on the 4th of July.
- Some time during the day of.
- I'll see you on Monday. The bus leaves on Friday. Can I see you on a different day? On Sunday I'm busy.
- Dealing with the subject of, about, or concerning something.
- A book on history. The World Summit on the Information Society.
- Touching; hanging from.
- The fruit ripened on the trees. The painting hangs on the wall.
- (informal) In the possession of.
- I haven't got any money on me.
- Because of, or due to.
- To arrest someone on suspicion of bribery. To contact someone on a hunch.
- Immediately after.
- On Jack's entry, William got up to leave.
- Paid for by.
- The drinks are on me tonight, boys. The meal is on the house. I paid for the airfare and meals for my family, but the hotel room was on the company.
- Used to indicate a means or medium.
- I saw it on television. Can't you see I'm on the phone?
- Indicating a means of subsistence.
- They lived on ten dollars a week. The dog survived three weeks on rainwater.
- Away or occupied with (e.g. a scheduled activity).
- He's on his lunch break. on vacation; on holiday
- Denoting performance or action by contact with the surface, upper part, or outside of anything; hence, by means of; with.
- to play on a violin or piano
- Her words made a lasting impression on my mind.
- Regularly taking (a drug).
- You've been on these antidepressants far too long. He's acting so strangely, I think he must be on something.
- (mathematics) Having identical domain and codomain.
- a function on V
- (mathematics) Having as domain and V as codomain, for some set V and integer n.
- an operator on V
- (mathematics) Generated by.
- the free group on four letters
- Supported by (the specified part of itself).
- A table can't stand on two legs. After resting on his elbows, he stood on his toes, then walked on his heels.
- At a given time after the start of something; at.
- In addition to; besides; indicating multiplication or succession in a series.
- heaps on heaps of food
- mischief on mischief; loss on loss
- Or have we eaten on the insane root / That takes the reason prisoner?
- Indicating dependence or reliance; with confidence in.
- I depended on them for assistance.
- He will promise on certain conditions.
- Do you ever bet on horses?
- Toward; for; indicating the object of an emotion.
- Have pity or compassion on him.
- In the service of; connected with; of the number of.
- He is on a newspaper; I am on the committee.
- By virtue of; with the pledge of.
- He affirmed or promised on his word, or on his honour.
- To the account of; denoting imprecation or invocation, or coming to, falling, or resting upon.
- On us be all the blame.
- A curse on him!
From Middle English on, from Old English on, an (“on, upon, onto, in, into"), from Proto-Germanic *ana (“on, at"), from Proto-Indo-European *ano-, *nÅ- (“on"). Cognate with North Frisian a (“on, in"), Dutch aan (“on, at, to"), Low German an (“on, at"), German an (“to, at, on"), Swedish Ã¥ (“on, at, in"), Faroese Ã¡ (“on, onto, in, at"), Icelandic Ã¡ (“on, in"), Gothic ðŒ°ðŒ½ðŒ° (ana), Ancient Greek á¼€Î½Î¬ (ana, “up, upon"), Albanian nÃ« (“in"); and from the Old Norse combination upp Ã¡: Danish pÃ¥, Swedish pÃ¥, Norwegian pÃ¥, see upon.
- (UK dialectal, Scotland) Without.
- Usually followed by a perfect participle, as being, having, etc.
From Old Norse Ã³n, Ã¡n (“without"), from Proto-Germanic *Ä“nu, *Ä“no, *ino (“without"), from Proto-Indo-European *anew, *enew (“without"). Cognate with North Frisian on (“without"), Middle Dutch an, on (“without"), Middle Low German Äne (“without"), German ohne (“without"), Gothic [script?] (inu, “without, except"), Ancient Greek á¼„Î½ÎµÏ… (Ã¡neu, “without").
- Abbreviation of Old Norse.
- Prefix meaning on, at, toward, upon.
- oncome, onset, onfall, onlay
From Middle English on-, from Old English on-, an-, from Proto-Germanic *an-, *ana- (“on-”), from Proto-Indo-European *ano-, *nō- (“on”). Cognate with Dutch aan-, German an-, Swedish an-.
Noun See also: aeon
- Dated form of eon.