\ 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 of the book is lying on the table
b used as a function word to indicate position in or in contact with an outer surface the 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 with a village on the seastay on your opponent
d used as a function word to indicate the location of something on the lefton the south side of the houseon the farm
2a used as a function word to indicate a source of attachment or support on a stringstand on one foothang it on a nail
b used as a function word to indicate a source of dependence you can rely on mefeeds on insectslives on a pension
c used as a function word to indicate means of conveyance on the bus
d used as a function word to indicate presence in the possession of had a knife on him
3 used as a function word to indicate a time frame during which something takes place a parade on Sunday or an instant, action, or occurrence when something begins or is done on 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 the on the slykeep everything on the up-and-up
b used as a function word to indicate means or agency cut myself on a knifetalk on the telephone
c used as a function word to indicate a medium of expression on stagebest show on television
6a(1) used as a function word to indicate active involvement in a condition or status on 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 participation on touron the teamon duty
c used as a function word to indicate inclusion put it on the agenda
d used as a function word to indicate position or status in proper relationship with a standard or objective on 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 source profited on the sale of stock
c used as a function word to indicate the focus of obligation or responsibility drinks are on the houseput the blame on me
8a used as a function word to indicate the object of collision, opposition, or hostile action bumped 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 detriment has 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 effort crept 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 will have 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 event the crops died on them
d used as a function word to indicate the subject of study, discussion, or consideration a 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 series loss on losstrouble on trouble

on

adverb

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 to My 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 One other change: Los Lobos replaces St. Paul & The Broken Bones as guests on the tour, which will also feature TTB keyboardist Gabe Dixon and his trio. Melissa Ruggieri, ajc, "Tedeschi Trucks Band moves ‘Wheels of Soul’ tour, including Atlanta date, to 2022," 6 Apr. 2021 The Edinburgh College of Art, the universities of Birmingham and Melbourne, and Historic Environment Scotland (HES) collaborated on the project. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hear a 16th-Century Concert Recreated by a ‘Musical Time Machine’," 6 Apr. 2021 The team was forced on the road for nearly 10 weeks because of the coronavirus, spending 86 days in hotels during this nomadic season. Kristen Davis, cleveland, "Stanford National Championship shirts, hats: Where to buy Cardinal women’s basketball gear," 5 Apr. 2021 Wayne Tinkle was rewarded Monday following a breakout men’s basketball season when the Oregon State coach and school agreed on a three-year contract extension. oregonlive, "Oregon State, basketball coach Wayne Tinkle agree on contract through 2026-27 season," 5 Apr. 2021 Laura Schulte can be reached at leschulte@jrn.com and on Twitter at @SchulteLaura. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gov. Evers issues state of emergency as wildfires continue to blaze across Wisconsin," 5 Apr. 2021 Indianapolis is one of just five U.S. destinations on the list, including New York City and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Elizabeth Depompei, The Indianapolis Star, "'Realistic and inspirational': Indianapolis on Conde Nast Traveler's destinations for 2021," 5 Apr. 2021 The Colonels will now host Transylvania at home on Dec. 12. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Eastern Kentucky basketball game against Boyce College canceled, will play Transylvania," 5 Apr. 2021 The Suns have established a motto this season of concentrating on their play. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Suns focused on lowly Rockets before big-time back-to-back vs. Jazz, Clippers," 5 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Eight of the 11 patients who completed the study cut back on or stopped using opioids, and depression improved in all of them. Mandy Oaklander, Time, "Inside Ibogaine, One of the Most Promising and Perilous Psychedelics for Addiction," 5 Apr. 2021 The web during the pandemic is like a dinner party gone on too long. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Celebrity Gossip in Late-Stage Pandemic Is Juicier Than Ever," 5 Apr. 2021 In the video, when Karlson approaches, the octopod adopts a rather confrontational posture, facing the camera dead on and slowly gliding forward with its eight limbs neatly coiled. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Very Angry Octopus Goes Viral After Lashing Out at an Australian Tourist," 5 Apr. 2021 ZitSticka Hyperfade, formulated with niacinamide, and skin-lightening ingredients vitamin C, arbutin, and kojic acid, work very well on acne scars that are characterized by its discolored skin markings. Sydney Poe, chicagotribune.com, "How to get rid of acne scars," 4 Apr. 2021 The industry had to shut down theaters around the world, studios delayed blockbusters and audiences were hard to find even when marquees were turned back on. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "'Godzilla vs. Kong' is the biggest hit of the pandemic," 4 Apr. 2021 Early on, the challenge comes mostly from figuring how to fit your cube, which bounces off walls and corners upon contact, into small holes and crevices. Vincent Acovino, Wired, "Qomp Makes a Case for Shorter, Simpler Video Games," 2 Apr. 2021 Its vaccine, which France and other European countries bet heavily on to lead them out of the pandemic, has also been plagued by worries about rare but sometimes fatal side effects that led them briefly to suspend its use. New York Times, "Fatigue Outpaces Progress as France Enters Yet Another Lockdown," 2 Apr. 2021 As war with the Transformers rages on, inventor Cade Yeager forms an unlikely alliance with Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the planet. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: James Dean in ‘Giant’ on TCM and more," 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Making Page's absence even more gutting: his on-screen wife, Daphne (Phoebe Dyvenor) will return for season two. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "I Have Many Complicated Emotions About Regé-Jean Page Leaving Bridgerton," 5 Apr. 2021 Now, the rally driver is parting ways with three of his on-screen dream machines. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, "Not Your Dad’s Ford Fiestas: Ken Block Is Selling 3 of His Famed YouTube Rally Racers," 31 Mar. 2021 Davis was re-examined by the team's medical staff before the game and has been cleared to advance his on-court work. Joe Reedy, Star Tribune, "Lakers rally past Cavaliers to snap 4-game losing streak," 27 Mar. 2021 Braydon Webb strikes out to end his on-base streak at six. Seth Campbell, Arkansas Online, "Hogs sweep Tigers with 9-4 win," 25 Mar. 2021 Baylor’s post-playing career never lived up to the magic of his on-court skills. NBC News, "Elgin Baylor, Lakers Hall of Famer and NBA great, dies at 86," 22 Mar. 2021 Baylor’s post-playing career never lived up to the magic of his on-court skills. BostonGlobe.com, "Elgin Baylor, silky-smooth Lakers Hall of Famer, dies," 22 Mar. 2021 With a chance to make a verbal point after his on-court display, Green opted for boring cliches. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors' Draymond Green says it all with his play, instead of relying on his powerful voice," 17 Mar. 2021 Boogie needs a basketball scholarship but though scouts are interested, none comes through with a full-ride offer, partly because of his on-court arrogance. Jessica Kiang, Rolling Stone, "‘Boogie’: Eddie Huang’s Sports-Underdog Movie Scores as Culture-Clash Story," 4 Mar. 2021

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries near on

Omsk

Omura

Ōmura

on

ON

-on

Ona

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for on

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“On.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for on

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

on

adverb

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 carried He rode on a tractor.
3 used to indicate the location of something Both bedrooms are on the top floor.
4 used to indicate the focus of a certain action He 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.

on

adverb

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

Comments on on

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