on·​line | \ ˈȯn-ˈlīn, ˈän-ˈlīn \

Definition of online

: connected to, served by, or available through a system and especially a computer or telecommunications system (such as the Internet) an online database also : done while connected to such a system online shopping online games online searching

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Other Words from online

online adverb

Examples of online in a Sentence

The city libraries are all online. He likes to engage in online chats.

Recent Examples on the Web

Like Walmart, Target has shifted its focus toward growing online, offering more options to receive web orders at home or pick up those orders in stores. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Strong Economy Can’t Save Macy’s From Retail Shifts," 10 Jan. 2019 Just pick up a new book, register for a free online class, or listen to a podcast. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Woman's Day, "30 Fun Things to Do By Yourself in Your Lifetime," 3 Jan. 2019 There are seemingly endless resources available to help do-it-yourselfers, such as books with step-by-step instructions and online how-to videos. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "Should You DIY Or Call A Pro?," 26 Dec. 2018 Plus, a reporter catches Google red-handed with executives talking about opposing the president's immigration policy by tampering, tampering with online searches. Fox News, "Media's Kavanaugh spectacle," 24 Sep. 2018 Kylie Jenner has commented on Kanye West's online feud with Drake, following rumors that her brother-in-law was also feuding with Travis Scott. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Slams Rumors That Travis Scott Is Also Feuding with Kanye West," 16 Dec. 2018 So Giselle quit her job as an assistant property manager to homeschool Brooklyn, who struggled with ADHD, using an online curriculum that prioritized her daughter’s preference for visual learning. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 Evidently, there is still much room for improvement as consumers continue to embrace online shopping. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Why your Ikea shopping experience may be changing soon," 26 Nov. 2018 Shopping for bras—especially online—is hard and, full transparency, these options may not work for you. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "20 Really, Really Cute Bras Just in Time for Cuffing Season," 5 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'online.' 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 online

1950, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near online



on limits




on loan

Statistics for online

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for online

The first known use of online was in 1950

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English Language Learners Definition of online

: connected to a computer, a computer network, or the Internet

: done over the Internet

on·​line | \ ˈȯn-ˌlīn, ˈän-\

Kids Definition of online

: connected to, directly controlled by, or available through a computer system an online database working online

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More from Merriam-Webster on online

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with online

Spanish Central: Translation of online

Nglish: Translation of online for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of online for Arabic Speakers

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