\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Repeated, serious infractions could result in a ban on operating in the EU, according to lawmakers who were involved in the final deal. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, 11 May 2022 Morrow is focused on stronger discipline and teaching students to read better. Jeff Amy, ajc, 11 May 2022 The focus on martyrdom and national suffering was symptomatic of the colonial trauma and learned helplessness of the colonized. Sasha Dovzhyk, CNN, 11 May 2022 Mow May is pretty self-explanatory – just hold off on cutting your lawn for the month. Lauren Wethington, Detroit Free Press, 11 May 2022 The unexpected persistence of high inflation has caused the Fed to embark on what may become its fastest series of interest rate increases in 33 years. Christopher Rugaber, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 The program aims to focus on early child development and promote the emotional and mental wellbeing of youth. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 11 May 2022 Coco prides herself on creating stable, secure locs for her clients in the New Orleans area. Danielle James, Allure, 11 May 2022 Highly competitive District 2 race also focused on ADUs, policing, incumbent’s responsiveness. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Early on, the tower was planned to soar 912 feet tall — overshadowing the 727-foot-tall Renaissance Center — but plans were downsized. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, 12 May 2022 The officer who fatally shot a pit bull that was fighting with another leashed dog during the Bockfest 5K in March was within policy to shoot but was wrong not to turn his body camera on, according to a report released Wednesday. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 12 May 2022 This bib, on or off its famed owner, is an icon of modern jewelry. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, 11 May 2022 Police learned that the male student, while driving to the school, had struck the man’s car and continued on without stopping. cleveland, 11 May 2022 Until that point Lenox, who is now 33, had remained all but oblivious to the hip-hop and indie pop his peers grew up on. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, 11 May 2022 Soon, the masses caught on, and her schedule started filling up with appointments. Devon Abelman, Allure, 10 May 2022 As the years went on, there were all kinds of crews backstage from all over the world. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 10 May 2022 Clemons-Hopkins was especially excited for the guest appearance of comedian Margaret Cho on-set. Sydney Odman, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Albers was among Ginsburg's favorite artists, and an original work of his on loan from the Smithsonian was prominently displayed in her office at the court. CBS News, 9 May 2022 However, almost a month into the season, his overall batting numbers continue to fluctuate, with his batting average down to .208 and his on-base-plus-slugging percentage at just .715. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2022 Plus, the company has been fiercely protective of its on-demand classes, suing copycat companies. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 19 Jan. 2022 Kemp drew his most starts in the No. 9 lineup spot, where his on-base percentage was .440 in 100 plate appearances. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 Mar. 2022 While Benson did walk 60 times for the Rubberducks, his on-base percentage dipped to .271 with the Clippers. Joe Noga, cleveland, 22 Nov. 2021 Votto has become one of the most beloved players in franchise history both for his on-field and off-field resume. Joe Harrington, The Enquirer, 7 Apr. 2022 The 6-foot-4 senior guard, who accepted UW’s walk-on offer in November, recently led Lake Country Lutheran High School to the WIAA Division 3 state title. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 Apr. 2022 The first step is identifying how the club is perceived in terms of its on-pitch presence. Liam Canning, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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)

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

Ōmura

on

ON

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for on

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“On.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for on

on

preposition
\ 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.

on

adjective

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.

ON

abbreviation

Kids Definition of ON

Ontario

on

preposition
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on on

Nglish: Translation of on for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of on for Arabic Speakers

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