\ 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 ofthe book is lying on the table
b used as a function word to indicate position in or in contact with an outer surfacethe 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 witha village on the seastay on your opponent
d used as a function word to indicate the location of somethingon the lefton the south side of the houseon the farm
2a used as a function word to indicate a source of attachment or supporton a stringstand on one foothang it on a nail
b used as a function word to indicate a source of dependenceyou can rely on mefeeds on insectslives on a pension
c used as a function word to indicate means of conveyanceon the bus
d used as a function word to indicate presence in the possession ofhad a knife on him
3 used as a function word to indicate a time frame during which something takes placea parade on Sunday or an instant, action, or occurrence when something begins or is doneon 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 theon the slykeep everything on the up-and-up
b used as a function word to indicate means or agencycut myself on a knifetalk on the telephone
c used as a function word to indicate a medium of expressionon stagebest show on television
6a(1) used as a function word to indicate active involvement in a condition or statuson 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 participationon touron the teamon duty
c used as a function word to indicate inclusionput it on the agenda
d used as a function word to indicate position or status in proper relationship with a standard or objectiveon 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 sourceprofited on the sale of stock
c used as a function word to indicate the focus of obligation or responsibilitydrinks are on the houseput the blame on me
8a used as a function word to indicate the object of collision, opposition, or hostile actionbumped 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 detrimenthas 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 effortcrept 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 willhave 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 eventthe crops died on them
d used as a function word to indicate the subject of study, discussion, or considerationa 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 seriesloss on losstrouble on trouble

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 toMy 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 Jack looks on admiringly, not at the tricks but at Evie. Malcolm Forbes Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "REVIEW: 'Here We Are,' by Graham Swift," 18 Sep. 2020 But Black Latinxs are literally all over Latin America — the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, the list goes on. Johanna Ferreira, Allure, "These Afro-Latinx Beauty Industry Players Are Battling Anti-Blackness," 18 Sep. 2020 Industries that serve people in person are at risk of being left for dead as the pandemic grinds on into the fall. Joseph Lawler, Washington Examiner, "Restaurants, bars, and theaters at risk of being left for dead," 18 Sep. 2020 Schools across the country have been impacted by a worldwide shortage of laptops and parts brought on by the pandemic, according to an Associated Press report released last month. Leslie Postal, orlandosentinel.com, "OCPS faces laptop shortage, asks parents to return school devices if they have others," 18 Sep. 2020 Aside from the adversity the year 2020 has brought on all of us, Williams has also been through a lot, from a public divorce to battling Graves disease to being under fire for making controversial comments about the LGBTQ community. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Wendy Williams is 'happier than ever' heading into Season 12 of talk show: 'I can only be me'," 18 Sep. 2020 Put on music and dance, or hula-hoop, Polanco suggests. Bernard J. Wolfson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Exercise and diet are more important than ever with the coronavirus at large," 18 Sep. 2020 But considering its far from ho-hum beginnings, DAS was fairly primed to take it on. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, "Developing tech to help businesses navigate pandemic propels Scottsdale's Digital Air Strike," 18 Sep. 2020 Selma went on to receive a best picture Oscar nomination, the first for a film directed by a Black woman. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "SeeHer Story Celebrates Ava DuVernay's Groundbreaking Work in Episode 13," 18 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The red-and-yellow blossom strikes a side window, shattering it with a loud, satisfying crash, and the woman moves on, smiling ecstatically. Calvin Tomkins, The New Yorker, "Pipilotti Rist’s Hedonistic Expansion of Video Art," 7 Sep. 2020 Please keep the light on and continue to close the gap. Robert Morast, SFChronicle.com, "Throughline readers weigh in on the Bay Area’s post-pandemic future," 6 Sep. 2020 In addition to keeping you on course, rebalancing provides a modest buy-low, sell-high discipline. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "After wild stock-market ride, this is why it might be time to rebalance your investments," 6 Sep. 2020 Here on, there won’t be many chances to stop and soak in the moment, look back, look ahead. Dom Amore, courant.com, "Kevin Freeman returns to UConn, and hopes he is home to stay," 6 Sep. 2020 Not everyone turns their video on, and interactions can be muffled. Washington Post, "One week into distance learning in Md., questions about live teaching, screen time, technology," 6 Sep. 2020 The top team in their ballots received 10 points, the second received 9 and so on. Dallas News, "SportsDayHS’ Sept. 6 Dallas-area rankings: Which teams impressed during Week 2 of Texas high school football?," 6 Sep. 2020 Eight months on, Zhou is wondering whether he is cut out for this business. Michelle Toh And Serenitie Wang, CNN, "Live-stream shopping in China could be worth $170 billion this year. But it's a tough market to crack," 6 Sep. 2020 But in reality, that doesn’t really limit them too much — plenty of picks have been selected with the wrong hat on, only to quickly be ushered to another team. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "The Utah Jazz are headed for a big offseason. These are the moves they’ll try to make.," 5 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Yelich extended his on-base streak to 25 games, the longest active run in the majors. Brian Dulik, Star Tribune, "Indians end Hader's hitless streak, beat Brewers 4-3," 5 Sep. 2020 Data show the streetcars were also only hitting their on-time target 70% of the time as of June, meaning that many riders waited longer than the eight-minute intervals the agency advertised. Jessica Williams | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Streetcar ridership in New Orleans has plunged, and major cutbacks might be coming," 31 Aug. 2020 When the club hired Gabe Kapler as its new manager, part of his on-boarding process was a January conversation with Nakken, whose purview included various employment development initiatives. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "'I love going to work': Alyssa Nakken completes quest for fulfillment as MLB's first female coach," 31 July 2020 Suarez, 28, has upped his on-base plus slugging each of the last four years, going from .728 to .828 to .892 to .930. John Fay, The Enquirer, "RedsXtra: Eugenio Suarez gives the Reds personality and a big bat," 11 July 2020 Sullivan, who recently picked up a preferred walk-on offer from Akron, also rushed for 1,894 yards and 13 TDs last year to pace the Kirtland offense. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Avon-Avon Lake sets tone; St. Edward tests Massillon: Week 1 high school football preview," 26 Aug. 2020 Henderson was noted for his on-court antics during his time at Ole Miss, becoming a fan favorite in Oxford and alienating opposing fans. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Marshall Henderson joins Ole Miss basketball staff," 25 Aug. 2020 Look beyond 7-4 Marjanovic’s personality, however, and his on-court production shows his fit in the Mavericks’ offense could be an X-factor in foiling the Clippers. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Boban Marjanovic, already a favorite NBA personality, could be an X-factor in Mavs’ offense vs. Clippers," 20 Aug. 2020 Dating to last season, his on-base streak of 37 games is the MLB's longest active streak. Jordan Godwin, Star Tribune, "Tucker hits game-ending homer as Astros sweep Mariners 3-2," 16 Aug. 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

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

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“On.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for on

How to pronounce -on (audio)

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

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 carriedHe rode on a tractor.
3 used to indicate the location of somethingBoth bedrooms are on the top floor.
4 used to indicate the focus of a certain actionHe 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.

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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