\ 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 Putting on an award show in the midst of a global pandemic is no easy feat, but the Golden Globes 2021 may have set the standard for this year's award season. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Our Favorite Hair and Makeup Looks at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards," 1 Mar. 2021 One inmate at a facility near Baton Rouge described ice on the walls inside his cell. Arkansas Online, "Texas jail inmates say lockups cold, food short during freeze," 28 Feb. 2021 Urquiza and partner Christine Keeves went on to found Marked by COVID, a nonprofit that advocates for people affected by the pandemic and is leading the call for a nationwide day of mourning. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, "Santa Monica COVID-19 memorial event is part of a push for a national day of mourning," 28 Feb. 2021 Michigan basketball presses on toward a Big Ten championship. Orion Sang, USA TODAY, "No. 3 Michigan rolls Indiana, 73-57, now one win from Big Ten title," 28 Feb. 2021 Maya Rudolph is set to host Saturday Night Live on March 27, with musical guest Jack Harlow. Charu Sinha, Vulture, "Maya Rudolph to Host SNL on March 27," 28 Feb. 2021 Hyatt employees have been walking around with warning signs, asking people not wearing masks to put them on, with occasional pushback. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, "CPAC Orlando: Trump expected to declare he’s still in charge of the GOP," 28 Feb. 2021 San Pasqual Academy has produced a number of graduates who have gone on to build productive lives. Morgan Cook, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Supporters of San Pasqual Academy rally to fight closure," 28 Feb. 2021 In other encouraging box office news, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave permission for cinemas in the five boroughs to reopen at limited capacity starting on March 5. Rebecca Rubin, chicagotribune.com, "Box Office: ‘Tom and Jerry’ opens to surprisingly strong $13.7 million, giving movie theater companies hope," 28 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Key Facts Unlike traditional power retailers, Griddy connects its customers to the wholesale electricity market and passes these costs directly on to the consumer. Robert Hart, Forbes, "Texas Sues Griddy, Energy Company It Says Auto-Debited ‘Astronomical’ Bills During The Winter Storm," 1 Mar. 2021 Roaches scurried up the walls and across the floor, where some fish had been stepped on and squashed. Ian Urbina, The New Yorker, "Fish Farming Is Feeding the Globe. What’s the Cost for Locals?," 1 Mar. 2021 Dab on and blot off, because rubbing might stretch the fabric or cause it to pill. Washington Post, "What’s the best way to clean my dirty cellular shades?," 1 Mar. 2021 Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents and the Afghan government have been holding on-again-off-again talks in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar but a deal that could bring peace to Afghanistan after 40 years of relentless war seems far off. Time, "The U.S. Wasted Billions of Dollars on Buildings and Vehicles in Afghanistan, a Report Says," 1 Mar. 2021 But trans people are often left without anything to fall back on. Maria Morava And Scottie Andrew, CNN, "These Black transgender women are fighting housing insecurity for LGBTQ people in the South," 28 Feb. 2021 Page upon page was redacted, blacked out, by the government decades ago with authorities citing the on-going investigation at the time. Eric Shawn, Fox News, "Jimmy Hoffa FBI files that have been hidden since 1975 must be released, lawmakers tell DOJ," 28 Feb. 2021 It’s populism or 1912 for the Republican Party from here on in. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "The Ghost of Theodore Roosevelt," 28 Feb. 2021 Revenue is still below, but closing in on, its 1999 peak of $14.6 billion. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Recorded Music Revenue Hits $12 Billion in 2020 Amid Pandemic Streaming Boom," 26 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bridgerton actor Regé-Jean Page's chemistry with his on-screen wife Phoebe Dynevor is certainly convincing. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Bridgerton's Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor Confirm They Are Not Dating in Real Life," 21 Feb. 2021 These allegations and his on-camera misbehavior may actually point to an even bigger issue: a lack of consideration for others. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Matt James’ Former Roommate Has A Lot To Say About The Bachelor," 22 Jan. 2021 Without being obsessive, think about your on-screen appearance, makeup, lighting, camera height and angle and backdrop. New York Times, "How to Hold a Virtual Memorial Service," 14 Jan. 2021 But that doesn’t mean his on-field characteristics won’t be seen again for decades. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks WR signee Troy Franklin draws comparison to Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith," 11 Jan. 2021 After Zebra Technologies sorted through its on-field tracking data from Week 16’s games, three New Orleans Saints players turned in notable performances against the Minnesota Vikings. Luke Johnson, NOLA.com, "Drew Brees' aggressive game and more: 3 notable advanced stats from Saints' Christmas win," 30 Dec. 2020 Florida basketball star Keyontae Johnson has been released from the hospital, but his future status with the Gators remains unclear following his on-court collapse. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Florida’s Keyontae Johnson home from hospital, basketball future unclear," 23 Dec. 2020 Winslet recently spoke with Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast about the film, her process, and her on-screen relationship with co-star Saoirse Ronan. NBC News, "Kate Winslet on choreographing 'Ammonite' love scenes with Saoirse Ronan," 7 Dec. 2020 The Thunder are the on hook for Horford's $27.5 million this season. Dan Gelston, Star Tribune, "AP source: 76ers send Horford, future 1st-rounder to OKC," 18 Nov. 2020

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

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Dictionary Entries near on

Omsk

Omura

Ōmura

on

ON

-on

Ona

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for on

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“On.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on. Accessed 7 Mar. 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

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