1 of 2


: something (such as an advertising promotion) intended to entice or allure
: a usually sexual advance

come on

2 of 2


came on; come on; coming on; comes on

intransitive verb

: to advance by degrees
darkness came on
: to begin by degrees
rain came on toward noon
: please
used in cajoling or pleading
used interjectionally to express astonishment, incredulity, or recognition of a put-on
: to project an indicated personal image
comes on as a conservative
: to show sexual interest in someone
also : to make sexual advances
usually used with to
tried to come on to her

Examples of come-on in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Books Is Madonna a game-changing feminist or capitalist come-on? Chris Vognar, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2023 The whole ride, she’s been pursing her lips and meeting his gaze in the rearview mirror in ways that some men might take as a come-on. Peter Debruge, Variety, 3 Sep. 2023 Or the Hollywood sign, originally a real-estate come-on and the site of an early movieland suicide. John Anderson,, 25 Apr. 2023 And though Jaxton is an obvious skeeve, decentering his maleness only as a kind of tantric come-on, Foley does it so well that the character is somehow attractive. Jesse Green, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2023 The show's diva/icon/legend/the-moment-now-come-on is Ni'Jah, whose entire aesthetic and many major life and career achievements are lifted directly from the life of one Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 21 Mar. 2023 Giveaways, gimmicks, and novelty come-ons of all sorts proliferated. Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Mar. 2023 This sort of blanket approach targets a common practice among robotexters, which is to use different numbers (real or spoofed) to originate successive come-ons or phishing attempts. Jon Healey, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Mar. 2023 But she isn’t intimidated by the brothers, illustrated early on by her initial rebuff of Albert’s come-on. Don Aucoin,, 16 Mar. 2023
Tangent The UnitedHealth security attack came on the same day the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights announced its second ever ransomware cyber attack settlement. Molly Bohannon, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 Liverpool overwhelmed Chelsea in a 4-1 drubbing at Anfield in the league just three weeks ago, but the Reds' injury situation means that game can no longer be a true barometer of what is to come on Sunday. Steve Douglas, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 The Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks are all hoping to avoid the play-in tournament while the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors are coming on strong with the same goal in mind. Jason Anderson, Sacramento Bee, 22 Feb. 2024 The conversation came on the same day that the former talk show host's medical team said she has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2024 Republicans blocking Ukraine aid apparently don’t Moscow has detained several US citizens in recent years, and the woman’s arrest came on the same day that the Moscow City Court upheld American journalist Evan Gershkovich’s extended pre-trial detention until March 30. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 Shortly after the play’s interval, the house lights come on and the audience is invited to ask questions about the play’s central theme. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 21 Feb. 2024 Adebayo’s only points of the night came on a pull-up three less than five minutes into the game after inbounding the ball off of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic’s back and then dribbling into the shot. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 19 Feb. 2024 Of his 19 assists, an astonishing 13 went to Sam Reinhart, with eight or those 13 coming on the power play and another coming shorthanded. Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald, 11 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'come-on.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of come-on was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near come-on

Cite this Entry

“Come-on.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Legal Definition

come on

intransitive verb
: to be brought forward (as a case in court)
the first prize case of the war…came on for trialW. G. Young
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