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
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 The harshest reaction came on the playground at my daughter’s school. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 The interview marks Carlson’s further embrace of the far-right and conspiracy world since departing Fox News last year, and comes on the back of Russia ratcheting up its interference operations ahead of the 2024 elections. David Gilbert, WIRED, 9 Feb. 2024 His rim-rattling two-handed slam dunks drew the loudest cheers, but McKnight’s biggest impact came on the defensive side of the ball Thursday night, where the center put a picket fence around the rim in YV’s 67-54 victory over Benicia. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 9 Feb. 2024 The first came on New Year’s Day when a magnitude 4.1 struck off the coast about 10 miles southwest of San Pedro and 11 miles southeast of Rancho Palos Verdes. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 Max’s announcement of the renewal comes on the eve of the final two episodes of the first season dropping on Feb. 8. Mikey O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Feb. 2024 The Kansas City Royals continue to evaluate their options regarding a new stadium, but news may soon be coming on that front. Jaylon Thompson, Kansas City Star, 3 Feb. 2024 This year’s first warning came on Jan. 11, followed by further closures on Jan. 12 and Jan. 17. Shaun Goodwin, Idaho Statesman, 3 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 22 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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