\ ˈkəm-ˌȯn How to pronounce come-on (audio) , -ˌän \

Definition of come-on

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

come on

came on; come on; coming on; comes on

Definition of come on (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to advance by degrees darkness came on
b : to begin by degrees rain came on toward noon
2a : please used in cajoling or pleading
b used interjectionally to express astonishment, incredulity, or recognition of a put-on
3 : to project an indicated personal image comes on as a conservative
4 : to show sexual interest in someone also : to make sexual advances usually used with to tried to come on to her

First Known Use of come-on


1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Come-on.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of come-on

informal : something that a person says or does to try to start a sexual relationship with someone
: something that is done to get customers for a business

Legal Definition of come on

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

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