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

The website platform Weebly, which was acquired by Square for $365 million earlier this year, just launched a photo studio service aimed at small online businesses. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Bad product photos can hinder a small business. This company is trying to help.," 14 Nov. 2018 The cafe has been a hit since an initial online post from a customer on social media drew more than 300,000 likes. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "That Raccoon Rooting Through Your Trash Could Be a Big Star in Seoul," 7 Nov. 2018 This was to be expected, though, since Amazon uses its devices to propel its online shopping businesses. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Kindle Paperwhite 2018 review: A more premium e-reader at the right price," 7 Nov. 2018 Along with the arrival of goop Lab, comes several other design-minded stores in Manhattan (and online). Elise Taylor, Vogue, "From Goop Lab to One Kings Lane: 8 New Design Destinations to Know," 7 Nov. 2018 Betabrand, a retail clothing company and online community that makes crowdsourced and crowdfunded products, has become known for its dress pant yoga pants. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Betabrand Makes These Buzzy "Dress Pant Yoga Pants" — And We Tried Them Out for You," 15 Oct. 2018 Net-a-Porter discovered Ganni a few years ago, first through Instagram and then at Copenhagen Fashion Week—before the brand had any online wholesale business. Alexandra Ilyashov, Glamour, "How Ganni Came to Dictate Everything You Want to Wear Right Now," 10 Oct. 2018 King deleted her online post after questions emerged about apparent inconsistencies in her claims. Alex Pappas | Fox News, Fox News, "Trump goes on offensive in Kavanaugh fight, calls on accuser to provide a police report," 21 Sep. 2018 Plus an additional 7,500 people will be assigned to the warehouse to help pack the large influx of online orders. Alexis Jones, Woman's Day, "Target Is Hiring 120,000 Workers for the Holiday Season," 14 Sep. 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

19 Nov 2018

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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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Comments on online

What made you want to look up online? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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