\ ˈȯn How to pronounce on (audio) , ˈän \

Definition of on

 (Entry 1 of 7)

1a used as a function word to indicate position in contact with and supported by the top surface ofthe book is lying on the table
b used as a function word to indicate position in or in contact with an outer surfacethe fly landed on the ceilingI have a cut on my fingerpaint on the wall
c used as a function word to indicate position in close proximity witha village on the seastay on your opponent
d used as a function word to indicate the location of somethingon the lefton the south side of the houseon the farm
2a used as a function word to indicate a source of attachment or supporton a stringstand on one foothang it on a nail
b used as a function word to indicate a source of dependenceyou can rely on mefeeds on insectslives on a pension
c used as a function word to indicate means of conveyanceon the bus
d used as a function word to indicate presence in the possession ofhad a knife on him
3 used as a function word to indicate a time frame during which something takes placea parade on Sunday or an instant, action, or occurrence when something begins or is doneon cueon arriving home, I found your letternews on the hourcash on delivery
4 archaic : of
5a used as a function word to indicate manner of doing something often used with theon the slykeep everything on the up-and-up
b used as a function word to indicate means or agencycut myself on a knifetalk on the telephone
c used as a function word to indicate a medium of expressionon stagebest show on television
6a(1) used as a function word to indicate active involvement in a condition or statuson the increaseon the lookout
(2) : regularly using or showing the effects of using on drugs
b used as a function word to indicate involvement or participationon touron the teamon duty
c used as a function word to indicate inclusionput it on the agenda
d used as a function word to indicate position or status in proper relationship with a standard or objectiveon schedule
7a used as a function word to indicate reason, ground, or basis (as for an action, opinion, or computation)I have it on good authorityon one conditionthe interest will be 10 cents on the dollar
b used as a function word to indicate the cause or sourceprofited on the sale of stock
c used as a function word to indicate the focus of obligation or responsibilitydrinks are on the houseput the blame on me
8a used as a function word to indicate the object of collision, opposition, or hostile actionbumped my head on a limban attack on religionpulled a gun on me
b used as a function word to indicate the object with respect to some disadvantage, handicap, or detrimenthas three inches in height on mea 3-game lead on the second-place teamthe joke's on me
9a used as a function word to indicate destination or the focus of some action, movement, or directed effortcrept up on himfeast your eyes on thisworking on my skiingmade a payment on the loan
b used as a function word to indicate the focus of feelings, determination, or willhave pity on mekeen on sportsa curse on you
c used as a function word to indicate the object with respect to some misfortune or disadvantageous eventthe crops died on them
d used as a function word to indicate the subject of study, discussion, or considerationa book on insectsreflect on that a momentagree on price
e : with respect to go light on the salt short on cash
10 used as a function word to indicate reduplication or succession in a seriesloss on losstrouble on trouble

Definition of on (Entry 2 of 7)

1a : in or into a position of contact with an upper surface especially so as to be positioned for use or operation put the plates on
b : in or into a position of being attached to or covering a surface especially : in or into the condition of being worn put his new shoes on
2a : forward or at a more advanced point in space or time went on home later on
b : in continuance or succession rambled on and so on
3 : into operation or a position permitting operation switched the light on

Definition of on (Entry 3 of 7)

1 : engaged in an activity or function (such as a dramatic role)
2a(1) : being in operation The radio is on.
(2) : placed so as to permit operation The switch is on.
b : taking place or being broadcast The game is on.
3 : aware of something usually used with toMy boss was on to me.
4 : intended, planned has nothing on for tonight
5 British : talking or harping incessantly used with about
6 chiefly British : regarded as possible or feasible usually used in negative constructions
7a : engaged in or as if in a performance The comedian was always on.
b : being at a high level of performance
variants: or Ont

Definition of ON (Entry 4 of 7)

Ontario

Definition of -on (Entry 5 of 7)

: chemical compound not a ketone or other oxo compound parathion

Definition of -on (Entry 6 of 7)

1 : subatomic particle nucleon
2a : unit : quantum photon magneton
b : basic hereditary component cistron operon

Definition of -on (Entry 7 of 7)

: noble gas radon

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Examples of on in a Sentence

Preposition There is a lot of frosting on the cake. books on sports heroes are my favorite reading matter Adverb We're far on with our project. I'll come by to help you later on. Adjective The lid is on tight. The band will be on in 10 minutes. He is on tomorrow from 6 a.m to 6 p.m.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Your cost will depend on overall demand for the Hawaii ticket at Christmas. Ron Lieber, New York Times, "Airline Miles Programs Sure Are Profitable. Are You the Loser?," 10 Oct. 2020 Trump on Saturday sent a handful of retweets about postal voting problems in Ohio, New Jersey and Texas. Erik Larson, Bloomberg.com, "Judge Rejects Trump Challenge to Pennsylvania’s Mail Voting," 10 Oct. 2020 All of it belies a new confidence on clay that dates back to Kenin’s first serious run in Paris last spring. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Sofia Kenin Turned Tennis’s Outbreak Season into a Breakout," 9 Oct. 2020 Those who have a criminal record are that much more disadvantaged in finding meaningful work and housing, magnifying the impact on their children. CNN, "Americans with criminal records will be left out of the recovery if we don't fix these policies," 9 Oct. 2020 The rear-wheel-drive R8 replaces the cheaper of the R8's two trims, so now all-wheel drive is only offered on the Performance model. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "2021 Audi R8 Permanently Adds Rear-Wheel Drive to U.S. Lineup," 9 Oct. 2020 Her efforts culminated in the whirlwind success of her debut album, Mariah Carey, following that basketball game and an astounding performance on Arsenio Hall. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Sweet Fantasy of the Female Pop Star," 9 Oct. 2020 He was later acquitted of all charges on grounds of self-defense. Shacamree Gowdy, Houston Chronicle, "Opinion: I was prepared for the Breonna Taylor verdict long before it happened," 9 Oct. 2020 Early practices were spent adjusting the release on his jump shot and improving his footwork. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Why Warriors might be considering drafting once-unheralded Devin Vassell," 9 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb From now on, there would be no more D. H. Lawrence the travel writer, naturalist, short-story writer, poet, critic, essayist, dramatist, or philosopher. Frances Wilson, The New Yorker, "The D. H. Lawrence We Forgot," 8 Oct. 2020 You’ll be surprised by how easily the relationship flows from then on. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, "Daily horoscope for October 3, 2020," 3 Oct. 2020 Republicans, by contrast, seem to prefer a more moderate fiscal policy from here on. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Trump’s Positive Covid Test Is Another Reason for Investors to Look Away," 2 Oct. 2020 From then on, Metro will get the tax money in quarterly disbursements. Hannah K. Sparling, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Metro: Your taxes go up today in Hamilton County," 1 Oct. 2020 The Miami native caught the 31-yard pass, one of his eight receptions for 118 yards and from then on, Louisville’s offense was clicking. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville not satisfied with 500 yards of total offense, working to fix first-half woes," 20 Sep. 2020 Honestly, maybe Fallon should start negotiating peace treaties from now on. Andrea Wurzburger, PEOPLE.com, "An Ode to the 2010 Emmy Awards' Opening Number, a Decade Later," 18 Sep. 2020 These plants have already set their flower buds, and any pruning done from now on will diminish the floral display. Dan Gill, NOLA.com, "With some signs of cooler weather creeping in, it's time to start planning your fall garden," 16 Sep. 2020 From then on, the two sides eyed each other spitefully. Benjamin Wofford, Wired, "A Texas County Clerk’s Bold Crusade to Transform How We Vote," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Schwarber’s average dipped under .200 in May, and his on-base percentage dipped below .300 later in the month. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "World Series hangover to just over? After another Chicago Cubs playoff dud, a look at what’s gone wrong since their 2016 championship run.," 4 Oct. 2020 In 28 games, the former AL MVP batted .222 with six home runs and 18 walks, which pushed his on-base average to .373. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Bigger Major League Baseball playoffs start on Tuesday," 29 Sep. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has altered a few of the on-farm market’s regular operations for its fall events. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "‘This is the best time of year’: Carroll County businesses greet fall with corn mazes, other activities," 25 Sep. 2020 Entering Tuesday’s game with the Angels, Myers had raised his on-base percentage 44 points, his average 59 points and his OPS a staggering 250 points. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Myers’ ‘MVP-type season’ vital cog in Padres’ sprint to playoffs," 22 Sep. 2020 Amy says her son has told her that his on-field success is 90 percent mental. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "'Stay strong': How Houston's Jett Bush went from walk-on to scholarship at UT," 11 Sep. 2020 That hasn’t been the case for much of this season, and the reason goes far beyond his on-field struggles. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Giants finally return to .500, subs Sandoval, Ruf spark key rally," 7 Sep. 2020 Yelich extended his on-base streak to 25 games, the longest active run in the majors. Brian Dulik, Star Tribune, "Indians end Hader's hitless streak, beat Brewers 4-3," 5 Sep. 2020 Data show the streetcars were also only hitting their on-time target 70% of the time as of June, meaning that many riders waited longer than the eight-minute intervals the agency advertised. Jessica Williams | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Streetcar ridership in New Orleans has plunged, and major cutbacks might be coming," 31 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'on.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of on

Preposition

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for on

Preposition, Adverb, and Adjective

Middle English an, on, preposition & adverb, from Old English; akin to Old High German ana on, Greek ana up, on

Noun suffix (1)

International Scientific Vocabulary, alteration of -one

Noun suffix (2)

from -on (in ion)

Noun suffix (3)

New Latin, from -on (in argon)

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Learn More about on

Time Traveler for on

Time Traveler

The first known use of on was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries near on

Omsk

Omura

Ōmura

on

ON

-on

Ona

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for on

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“On.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for on

How to pronounce -on (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of on

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: touching and being supported by the top surface of (something)
: to a position that is supported by (something)
used to indicate the part or object by which someone or something is supported

English Language Learners Definition of on (Entry 2 of 3)

used to indicate that something is attached to, covering, or supported by something else
used to describe something that is being worn by someone
used to indicate movement forward

English Language Learners Definition of on (Entry 3 of 3)

: attached to or covering something
: performing or speaking in public
: working at a job
\ ˈȯn How to pronounce on (audio) , ˈän \

Kids Definition of on

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : in contact with and supported by Put the books on the table.
2 used to indicate means of being carriedHe rode on a tractor.
3 used to indicate the location of somethingBoth bedrooms are on the top floor.
4 used to indicate the focus of a certain actionHe went down on his stomach.She chewed on gum.We called the police on him.
5 : against sense 4 There were shadows on the wall.
6 : near or connected with We stopped in a town on the river.
7 : to entry 1 sense 1 Mine is the first house on the left.
8 : sometime during We can begin work on Monday.
9 : in the state or process of on fire on sale
10 : about entry 2 sense 1 I'm looking for a book on minerals.
11 : by means of She likes to talk on the phone.

Kids Definition of on (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : into operation or a position allowing operation Turn the light on.
2 : in or into contact with a surface Put the kettle on. She has new shoes on.
3 : forward in time, space, or action We finally went on home. The argument went on for weeks.
4 : from one to another Pass the word on.

Kids Definition of on (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : being in operation The radio is on.
2 : placed so as to allow operation The switch is on.
3 : taking place The game is on.
4 : having been planned She has nothing on for tonight.

Kids Definition of ON

Ontario
\ ˈȯn, ˈän How to pronounce on (audio) \

Medical Definition of on

: regularly using or showing the effects of using is on an ACE inhibitor to control hypertension was on drugs for two years before entering rehab

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More from Merriam-Webster on on

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for on

Nglish: Translation of on for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of on for Arabic Speakers

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